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Reconciliation WA appoints new co-chairs

Brendan Foster -

Proud Bardi Jawi Yawuru man Nolan Hunter and the chief executive of an integrated community service provider, Debra Zanella have been appointed Reconciliation WA’s new co-chairs.
 
Former co-chair Gary Smith has stepped down after seven years, while Carol Innes departed her role in December after nearly eight years.

Mr Nolan said it was a pivotal time in the future horizons of the reconciliation movement.

“Both here in WA and collectively across the nation,” he said. 

“I look forward to walking this journey with my co-chair Nolan Hunter. 
 
“I’d like to thank and acknowledge Carol Innes and Gary Smith for their service and leadership, and I look forward to working with our new co-chair Debra Zanella.”

Mrs Zanella, who is the chief executive of Ruah Community Service, said she was honoured to be part of the powerful reconciliation movement.

“This movement that has important work to focus upon in the post-referendum environment,” she said. 

“We must harness the energy of the 6.2 million Australians who voted YES and those who are wanting to continue to understand how we can walk together to drive better outcomes in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”
 
Reconciliation WA CEO Jody Nunn expressed her deep appreciation for Ms Innes and Mr Smith's commitment and unwavering allyship to the reconciliation movement during the past eight years.
 
“Carol and Gary's leadership and guidance have played a pivotal role in shaping the reconciliation movement forward in Western Australia,” Ms Nunn said.
 
“On behalf of the Reconciliation WA Board and Team, we thank them for their guidance and support, and know they will remain committed advocates for reconciliation into the future.” 

Mr Smith also threw his support behind the new co-chairs.  
 
“Following the referendum outcome, we are in a new chapter for the reconciliation movement,” he said.
 
“It is a perfect time for the organisation to both capitalise on the organisation's work to date and to deliver a re-energised approach. 
 
“As this chapter closes, Carol and I leave the organisation with the excellent leadership of co-chairs Nolan Hunter and Debra Zanella and CEO Jody Nunn along with an excellent Reconciliation WA team developed over recent years.”
 
Reconciliation WA is the not-for-profit organisation providing leadership, advocacy and support to people and organisations driving the movement for reconciliation in Western Australia.

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