New member appointed to the Wadjemup Aboriginal Reference Group

Wadjemup Aboriginal Reference Group appoints Patrick Churnside

New member appointed to the Wadjemup Aboriginal Reference Group

Rottnest Island Island Authority (RIA) is pleased to announce the appoint of Pilbara community leader Patrick Churnside to the Rottnest Island’s Wadjemup Aboriginal Reference Group (WARG).

The WARG was established in 2017 to advise the Rottnest Island Authority on the conservation and interpretation of Rottnest’s Aboriginal Burial Ground and the former prison known as The Quod.

Advice provided by the WARG has also informed the process of state-wide consultation on design and interpretation options to allow the sanctity and significance of the burial ground to be appropriately recognised.

RIA Chairman John Langoulant acknowledged the work of the reference group to date and welcomed Mr Churnside’s appointment as its sixth member.

“The WARG has enjoyed a successful year and we are keen to ensure this challenging work continues and results in an important and respectful outcome,” Mr Langoulant said.

“I would like to congratulate Mr Churnside on his appointment. I know he will maintain the commitment of the group’s other members and bring a unique focus to the WARG’s work.”

Mr Churnside is a traditional owner from the Ngarluma and Yinjibarndi language groups, having spent his childhood around Roebourne and Wickham.

He specialises in dreamtime storytelling, Aboriginal spirituality and heritage.