The Danjoo Koorliny Walking Together team have hosted a sundowner event with the Vice Chancellor of the University of Western Australia to formally recognise the developing relationship with and support of Lotterywest as we all continue walking together towards 2029 and beyond.
UWA Vice Chancellor Prof Amit Chakma and the Danjoo Koorliny team welcomed the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Industrial Relations and Mental Health the Hon Stephen Dawson, Lotterywest Chair Prof Peter Klinken, Lotterywest General Manager Lorna Pritchard and other invited guests.
The sundowner replaced the traditional cheque presentation with a yarning circle around a fire in the university gardens. Danjoo Koorliny co-director Carol Innes facilitated the conversation.
The event was an opportunity for everybody to continue building relationships, and to share hopes and aspirations for the journey ahead as all of Western Australia moves towards 200 years of colonisation in 2029.
The Vice Chancellor said that the university was grateful to Lotterywest for their support of the Danjoo Koorliny journey through UWA’s Centre for Social Impact.
He acknowledged that the university sits on a very special place - sacred soil - alongside the Derbarl Yerrigan on Whadjuk Noongar country. He said the land on which the university sits has been a place, as he understood it from Elders, to gather and learn for tens of thousands of years.
Minister Dawson also acknowledged the land we were on and paid his respect to the Elders, and said as a minister he was very keen to walk together as part of an Aboriginal-led movement towards 2029.
The Minister said he was looking forward to being part of a movement that forged a new path and did things differently by walking with and learning from Aboriginal people.
Lotterywest Chair Prof Peter Klinken said that Danjoo Koorliny was a really important path, and hoped that Lotterywest funding would assist this journey towards 2029 and beyond. He said Lotterywest was delighted to be part of this movement now and going forward, and saw it as a long-term partnership as well as a new way of doing things.
The Danjoo Koorliny Walking Together Co-Directors also shared during the welcomes and the yarning circle.
Dr Noel Nannup spoke about Kaartadjin - knowledge - but especially the depth and breadth of knowledge expressed in that word, and encouraged everyone to walk together towards the more beautiful place that we all plan to be at: 2029 and beyond.
Danjoo Koorliny Project Lead Oral McGuire was invited to give the Welcome to Country and also spoke about the importance of Danjoo Koorliny Walking Together.
Dr Richard Walley highlighted the necessity for outcomes and impact, and the need for resources to enable actions and processes for collective knowledge to achieve change.
Prof Emer Colleen Hayward said that while 2029 might seem a long way off, at the end of this year it will only be seven years away.
She said that Danjoo Koorliny was the best opportunity we’ve ever had to create the kind of changes needed in Western Australia.
Event Scribing By Shenali Perera.