Reconciliation Week

1 June 2021

As Lord Mayor and co-chair of the City of Adelaide Reconciliation Committee with Aunty Yvonne Agius, strengthening relationships with the Kaurna community is one of my highest priorities.

This year’s National Reconciliation Week theme is ‘More than a word. Reconciliation Takes Action’. The City of Adelaide has been taking action by developing and implementing Reconciliation Action Plans for the past decade.

We recently achieved one of the outcomes of Council’s Stretch Reconciliation Plan 2015 – 2018 to include Kaurna knowledge into the land management of the Adelaide Park Lands with our Cultural Burn in Carriageway Park/Tulthangga (Park 17).


Cultural burn
Reconciliation week blog

For the first time in more than 200 years, the Kaurna community publicly practised cultural burning techniques in the Park Lands.

As the oldest continuing culture on the planet, the resilience and richness of Aboriginal cultures are of great importance to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people alike. Working with our Traditional Owners over the past two years to organise trialling cultural burns in the Adelaide Park Lands has been an incredible experience.

The Kaurna people were the first caretakers of the Adelaide Park Lands and there is much to be gained from respectfully and appropriately tapping into their knowledge and practices to sustainably care for the land.

Apart from clearing the ground, fire has the unique ability to produce smoke and heat, both of which are known to encourage seeds and native plants and flowers to grow. Over time, we hope to see an increase in the diversity and populations of local native grassland species.

By working together, we can honour Aboriginal cultural practices and care for the land by respectfully adopting the knowledge that has been passed down through the many generations.

Our cultural burn was the first to ever take place in an Australian capital city demonstrating the City of Adelaide’s long-standing leading role in reconciliation.

We were also among the first councils in Australia to sign a Reconciliation Statement in 1997 and in 2002, we took the historic step of introducing a Kaurna acknowledgment at the beginning of each Council meeting.

Earlier this month, Council approved our tenth Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan 2021 – 2024 with new goals developed in consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

As we mark this year’s Reconciliation Week, I look forward to continuing to strengthen our relationships and work in partnership with the Kaurna community.

Read more about the City of Adelaide’s Reconciliation initiatives.

Sandy