Reconciliation Action Plan 2021-23

Rottnest Island Authority’s (RIA) Reconciliation Action Plan 2021-23 is designed to increase the voice and participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in the management of Wadjemup (Rottnest Island).

The plan is the fourth prepared by RIA and outlines the authority’s reconciliation journey with a focus on increasing employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within RIA.


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RIA’s vision for reconciliation is to build respectful, trusting and equitable relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The vision also includes RIA staff and visitors to the Island celebrating Whadjuk Noongar people as the Traditional Owners of Wadjemup and appreciating the historical and contemporary significance of the Island as a unique and irreplaceable cultural landscape.

The plan includes a public apology from RIA for the pain and anguish within Aboriginal communities that resulted from the authority’s historical role in the concealment of the history of the Island as a place of incarceration.

The apology also acknowledges that many past practices of those entrusted with management of the Island were not respectful of Aboriginal peoples or the cultural significance of the Island.

Rottnest Island Authority was established in 1987 as the statutory authority vested with the management of recreational and holiday facilities on the Island.

Rottnest was used as an Aboriginal prison between 1838-1904, and as a forced labour camp for Aboriginal prisoners until 1931. About 4,000 Aboriginal men and boys from Western Australia were imprisoned on the Island. At least 373 of these prisoners died in custody and were buried in an area currently referred to as the Wadjemup Aboriginal Burial Ground.

Click to read RIA’s Reconciliation Action Plan 2021-23 (PDF).

Click to read more about the Quod.

Click to read more about the Wadjemup Project.

Click to read more about the Island’s Aboriginal history.