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COOKTOWN'S RECONCILIATION ROCKS RECOGNISED ON QUEENSLAND HERITAGE REGISTER

The site of Australia's first recorded act of Reconciliation between First Nation peoples and Europeans has been entered into the Queensland Heritage Register.

Located at the heart of Cooktown's Cultural Precinct, Reconciliation Rocks has been acknowledged as the site of Australia's first act of Reconciliation and entered onto the Queensland Heritage Register.

“Reconciliation Rocks is enormously important in demonstrating the evolution of both Queensland’s and Australia’s history, and interactions between the country’s first inhabitants and Europeans,” Queensland Heritage Council Chair Debbie Best said in a media release announcing the news on Friday 28 May 2021.

“What took place at Reconciliation Rocks, is corroborated by the stories of the Waymburr Warra and the journals of the crew on the Endeavour. There is no hero or villain, but rather two leaders with the wisdom and insight to cultivate respect and trust despite their differences. It’s an uplifting and unifying example of Reconciliation that can be celebrated inclusively by all Australians,” said Cook Shire Mayor Peter Scott.

“The listing of Reconciliation Rocks on the Queensland Heritage Register, recognises and acknowledges the significance of these events, reiterates Waymburr (Cooktown) as a special place where people come together, and is a fantastic introduction to the festivities of the Cooktown & Cape York Expo 2021 that further celebrates this Reconciliation story.”

The Reconciliation Rock precinct has recently been enhanced with $1.2 million in funding from the Australian Government in a project that has included the installation of accessible pathways, amphitheater-style seating, and two spectacular larger-than-life artworks that represent the local Indigenous Bama, their connection to the land and seas, and their telling of the Reconciliation events. 

“The listing of Reconciliation Rocks on the Queensland Heritage Register, recognises and acknowledges the significance of these events, reiterates Waymburr (Cooktown) as a special place where people come together, and is a fantastic introduction to the festivities of the Cooktown & Cape York Expo 2021 that further celebrates this Reconciliation story.”

The official opening of Reconciliation Rocks will form part of the opening events for the Cooktown & Cape York Expo 2021: The Rising Tide on 11 June 2021.

Image courtesy of Cooktown Re-enactment Association

Image by Jane Dennis, courtesy of the Cooktown Re-enactment Association

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