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Unity and belonging set the tone for an inclusive Australia Day.

Aboriginal and non-aboriginal dancing together to promote unity and inclusion at the 2018 Australia Day lauch event.

Reconciliation WA, City of Perth and Auspire – Australia Day Council WA established an alliance to ensure respect and acknowledgement of the past plays a vital role in Australia Day activities and initiatives.

To commemorate this alliance, all three organisations will host an Australia Day launch breakfast on 23 January. With more than 250 guests expected, the launch will reflect upon and acknowledge the truth of our colonial history as an important part of our journey towards reconciliation and ensure all Australians feel a sense of belonging on our National Day.

City of Perth Chair Commissioner Eric Lumsden said Australia Day was a time to reflect on what makes Australia such a great country — the people, land, diversity and the freedom we enjoy.

“The City of Perth celebrates this diversity and welcomes all cultures and abilities as part of our vibrant community,” he said.

“From those who have arrived recently, to those who have been here for thousands of years, we encourage acceptance, inclusion and respect, regardless of our identity or background.

The launch will host a range of inspirational presenters including Nyoongar Whadjuk leader Walter McGuire who will perform a Welcome to Country and the Honourable Kim Beazley AC Governor of Western Australia who will deliver his Australia Day address.

The achievements and contribution of WA’s 2019 Australian of the Year recipients will also be acknowledged as they depart to Canberra for the announcement of the national awards on 25 January.

WA’s 2019 Australian of the Year recipients are:

  • WA Australian of the Year – Cave diver and rescuer – Dr Craig Challen SC OAM
  • WA Senior Australian of the Year – Yamatji Elder and ex-serviceman – Frank Mallard
  • WA Young Australian of the Year – Activist and law reformist – Noelle Martin
  • WA’s Local Hero – Basketballer and researcher – Professor Cheryl Kickett-Tucker

Morgen Lewis, CEO of Auspire – Australia Day Council of WA said she is very proud to be invoved in such an inclusive event to send off the WA 2019 Australians of the Year and pay respects to our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the lead up to 26th January.

“It’s important that we recognise for most of our shared history, the impact the early collision of cultures between our First Peoples and British Colonials had, and that it has largely gone unacknowledged by mainstream Australia,” she said.

“This event is to kick-off Australia Day activities for the state, and will set the tone for a more inclusive participation, encouraging all of us to take a moment to pay respects for the losses before we commence celebrations to rejoice the country we are today.”

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