- $500,440 to further the restoration of the Wadjemup Aboriginal Burial Ground
- Money for landscaping and conservation
- Interpretative signs to be installed at entry points
The Rottnest Foundation has been presented with a $500,440 Lotterywest grant to further the restoration of the Wadjemup Aboriginal Burial Ground at Rottnest Island.
Aboriginal Affairs Minister Peter Collier said the funds would help pay for planting and conservation works at the site, and for the development and installation of interpretative signs at the main entry points to the burial ground.
"This is an important step in the healing process for many Aboriginal West Australians, and an important step in our State's journey towards reconciliation," Mr Collier said.
The restoration of the burial ground, which was once a camping area, will provide a place of healing for the ancestors of Aboriginal people who died on the island and have laid in unmarked graves ever since.
"The largely unknown history of Rottnest Island and the Wadjemup burial site has been a cause of great distress for Aboriginal people," the Minister said.
About 3,700 Aboriginal people from across the State were sent to Rottnest Island between 1838 and 1931.
More than 370 of these men and boys died while in custody on Rottnest Island, often as a result of introduced diseases such as measles, whooping cough and influenza.
The restoration project will include the development of a public space where people can meet, share stories and pay their respects to those who are buried at the site.
"It is important we acknowledge the history of the island, and share this history with the many local and international visitors that come to Rottnest Island," Mr Collier said.
In the Whadjuk language, Wadjemup means 'a place across the water where the spirits rest'
WA is the only State where money raised from lottery products is distributed directly back to the community to support not-for-profit organisations
Last financial year, Lotterywest raised $283 million to support the WA community
Minister's office - 6552 6300