Aboriginal community

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people are advised this page contains the name and image of a deceased person.

Rockingham, ngala kaaditj moondang-ak kaaradjiny nidja boodja, Binjareb wer Whadjuk Nyoongar moort, wer baalabang kalyogool dandjoo boodja, kep wer moort.

The City of Rockingham acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this land, the Binjareb* and Whadjuk*, Nyoongar* peoples and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders past and present.

The City acknowledges that it sits on the boundary of the Whadjuk and Binjareb Nyoongar peoples territories. Given the many plentiful resources in the area particularly around the lakes system, the land and water has sustained many people over many thousands of years.

Additionally, the Rockingham municipality is entirely encompassed by the Gnaala Karla Booja (GKB) Indigenous Land Use Agreement of the South West Native Title Settlement.

*While Nyoongar is identified as a single, spoken language, there are up to 14 different dialects and variations in both pronunciation and in the spelling of many words such as: Nyoongar, Whadjuk and Binjareb. Additionally, where the City uses the term Aboriginal it is intended to encompass all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The City has utilised the services of the Noongar Boodjar Language Cultural Aboriginal Corporation for translations provided.


Reconciliation Action Plan 

Group photo at RAP consultation meetingOur vision for reconciliation is an Australia that embraces unity between Aboriginal and other Australians, and a national culture that represents equality and equity, historical acceptance of our shared history and removal of negative race relations. 

The City’s first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) was endorsed in 2011; making Rockingham one of the first local governments to participate in the program. The second RAP was endorsed in 2014 and this continued to build strong foundations for our work and community partnerships towards reconciliation.

The City’s third RAP, for the period 2021-2023, was endorsed by Reconciliation Australia in April 2021. The actions in the RAP will foster the building of strong and authentic relationships, respect for culture and the development of opportunities aimed at optimising the way we work together with local Aboriginal people and organisations to create meaningful change for our community.

If you have any comments relating to the Reconciliation Action Plan, please contact us on 9528 0333 or email customer@rockingham.wa.gov.au.


NAIDOC Week NAIDOC Week logo.

NAIDOC Week celebrations are held annually across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life. The week is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and to support your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

What's on during NAIDOC Week

The City of Rockingham has close connections with the local Aboriginal community, and these ties have been forged through our Aboriginal Advisory Group and the implementation of the recently adopted Reconciliation Action Plan 2021 – 2023. A key action included in the RAP is building respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories by celebrating NAIDOC Week. 



National Reconciliation Week 2024

The theme for National Reconciliation Week 2024 was “Now More Than Ever”, a reminder to all of us that there is still work to do to progress the inclusion and acknowledgement of the First Nations people in our community.

We partnered with Rockingham Vicinity Centre to hold a National Reconciliation Week Expo from Thursday 30 to Sunday 2 June at the shopping centre. Local Aboriginal businesses, community groups and service providers showcased their products, goods and services to the community. 

About National Reconciliation Week

National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

The dates for NRW remain the same each year; 27 May - 3 June. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey: the successful 1967 referendum; and the High Court Mabo decision respectively. 

The 1967 Referendum saw Australians vote overwhelmingly to amend the Constitution to allow the Commonwealth to make laws for Aboriginal people and include them in the census. 

The Mabo decision recognised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have rights to the land - rights that existed before the British arrived and can still exist today. This was a turning point for the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ rights because it acknowledged their unique connection with the land. It also led to the Australian Parliament passing the Native Title Act in 1993. 

Mayor Barry Sammels with Aboriginal Advisory Group members Doreen Nelson, Doris Getta, Cheryl Martin, Ashley Garlett and Deputy Mayor Deb Hamblin at the launch of the new RAPThe City celebrated NRW 2019 by launching the Nyoongar Stories Project. Nyoongar Stories is a collection of stories from 10 local Nyoongar people about their lives and connections to the Rockingham area.

Copies of the audio compilation are available at the City’s libraries

The City launched its updated Reconciliation Action Plan 2021-2023 with a morning tea on Tuesday 25 May 2021 to coincide with National Reconciliation Week.

The morning tea had a Welcome to Country by Gerri Hayden. The Mayor, along with Deputy Mayor Deb Hamblin, presented hard copies of the new RAP to members of our Aboriginal Advisory Group (AAG).

There was also guest speakers, a cultural dance performance from the Yonga Boys and guests heard from the AAG members Ashley Garlett and Doreen Nelson, who spoke about the relationship between the local Aboriginal community and the City.



Aboriginal Advisory Group

The Aboriginal Advisory Group (AAG) was established to support the development and implementation of the RAP, while also taking the lead in supporting the City of Rockingham’s walk towards reconciliation.

The AAG meets bi-monthly and provides valuable input into our decision-making process.

The Terms of Reference and nomination form can be found below.

If you are interested in nominating and would like to have a voice on City Aboriginal programs and initiatives, contact the City on 9528 0333 or customer@rockingham.wa.gov.au.

Rockingham Reconciliation Network 

The Rockingham Reconciliation Network (RRN) is administered by the City and is an opportunity for community members, schools and service providers with an interest in Reconciliation to meet, network and discuss matters regarding the local Aboriginal Community.

The RRN meetings are held quarterly and any interested parties are welcome to join.

For more information or to join the RRN please contact us on 9528 0333 or customer@rockingham.wa.gov.au.

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