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New WA Parliament Welcomed to Country and Officially Opened

Updated: May 31, 2021

Dr Richard Walley OAM has performed the Welcome to Country for the opening of the 41st Parliament of Western Australia, the first time a welcome has been performed in the Legislative Council during an opening of parliament.

"This is a spiritual place - a place of learning, a place of sharing. We call it the Whadjuk Boodja," Richard said. "We ask the good spirit to guide us not only through this official presentation today, but the informal parts - when we're making decisions, when you're sharing conversation, sharing food, sharing drink, we're doing something all of our ancestors have been doing for many generations. And today we link in that context of an unbroken 2000-generation connect to this place."

"We're on the same pathway for advancement for us as a collective, as a people," he said.

"I will present a message stick - the message stick symbolises the fire and the campfire - with the orange and the yellows. A lot of our decisions and meetings were made around the campfire. We call that the karlak. It shows the two different types of meetings - the flowing meetings we had in the circles as an Aboriginal people; and the collective meetings and the confrontational, challenging meetings that you have on a daily basis. And may the good spirit guide you through each and every day and keep you safe."

Dr Richard Walley presenting the message stick to the Honourable Kate Doust MLC.

Click here to watch Richard’s welcome.

The Governor of Western Australia and Danjoo Koorliny Ambassador The Honourable Kim Beazley AC officially opened the parliament.

As part of his address the Governor acknowledged country, as well as thanked outgoing members, including Ben Wyatt (Victoria Park) and Josie Farrey (Kimberley), and welcomed new members, including Divina D’Anna (Kimberley).

Click here to watch the Governor’s speech.

(The other Danjoo Koorliny leaders had also been invited to attend the opening but COVID restrictions meant the public were no longer able to be present.)

First and last mages courtesy Parliament of Western Australia


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