Reconciliation WA farewells Co-Chair Carol Innes and announces appointment of new Aboriginal Co-Chair

Reconciliation WA farewells Co-Chair Carol Innes and announces appointment of new Aboriginal Co-Chair

  • Reconciliation WA Co-Chair Carol Innes has served her seven-year tenure, leaving a legacy of powerful leadership and reconciliation outcomes.
  • Nolan Hunter announced as new Reconciliation WA Aboriginal Co-Chair.
  • Non-Aboriginal Co-Chair appointment announcement expected in first half of 2024.

Reconciliation WA Co-Chair Carol Innes has served her seven-year tenure co-leading the State’s not-for-profit reconciliation peak body, leaving behind a legacy of powerful determination and reconciliation outcomes.

Carol Innes reflected on the strong relationships which have supported the reconciliation movement during her time at Reconciliation WA.

“Being involved in this organisation allowed me to give my heart and passion to make change and provide better opportunities for meaningful relationships and deep respect between Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal people – in the pursuit of reconciliation,” said Carol.

“My appreciation goes to both former Non-Aboriginal Co-Chair Alan Carter and current Non-Aboriginal Co-Chair Gary Smith, I am blessed to be walking with you both. I also want to thank every Aboriginal person who gave their voice and will continue to give their voice to the reconciliation movement.

“I would like to thank the board of Reconciliation WA and our staff for the work that they have done over my time as the Co-Chair of Reconciliation WA.

“Thank you to the people I have met on this journey. It is a journey that must continue, and I will always be an advocate for this work.”

Reconciliation WA is delighted to announce the appointment of Bardi and Yawuru man Nolan Hunter as the Aboriginal Co-Chair, who commenced in the role on Tuesday 21 November 2023.

Nolan was unanimously appointed by the Reconciliation WA Board after serving two years as a Board member. Nolan brings extensive experience in community leadership and development, including his recent roles as Head of Engagement for Uluru Dialogue and Director at Rock Art Australia, and in previous roles as the CEO of Kimberley Land Council, Chair of the National Native Title Council and other national and international roles.

Nolan Hunter expressed his admiration and respect for Carol’s co-leadership of Reconciliation WA.

“I would like to honour the commitment of Carol as Co-Chair in both her Board duties and personal efforts to the outcomes of reconciliation in WA,” said Nolan.

“In taking on the role of Co-Chair I feel privileged and proud to be stepping into Carol’s shoes knowing that I have some work ahead with the Board to match her exemplary statesmanship, milestones and outcomes of Reconciliation WA during her time.

“I know the Board and staff of Reconciliation WA reflect these same sincere wishes to Carol for her future endeavours, and I look forward to fulfilling my obligations as Co-Chair.”

The Reconciliation WA Board has committed to a two-stage process of leadership change, to ensure a supportive transition to the new Co-Chair partnership.

Our current Non-Aboriginal Co-Chair Gary Smith has also announced that following his seven-year tenure, he will be retiring from the Board and Co-Chair role in the first half of 2024 and expects the Board to announce a new Non-Aboriginal Co-Chair at that time.

“I thank my sister and Co-Chair Carol, who has patiently and generously taught me much of the reconciliation journey I have travelled to-date,” said Gary.

“Following the referendum outcome we are in a new chapter for the reconciliation movement.

“It is a perfect time for the organisation to both capitalise on the work performed by the current Co-Chairs and to deliver a new energy and approach under the guidance of our CEO and new Co-Chairs in 2024.

“I look forward to working alongside Nolan Hunter in this interim period, as we work to secure the appointment for the new Non-Aboriginal Co-Chair.”

Reconciliation WA CEO Jody Nunn expressed her deep appreciation for the outstanding courage, determination and integrity demonstrated by Carol during the past seven years.

“Carol’s unwavering commitment has significantly influenced and advanced the reconciliation movement in Western Australia, and we are profoundly grateful for her substantial contributions to the organisation’s vision, strategy and goals,” said Jody.