People’s Walk for Reconciliation (4 June 2000)

On June 4, 2000, between 50,000 to 70,000 people joined a rally in Brisbane’s CBD to show support for reconciliation with the People’s Walk for Reconciliation.

Aborigines performing a corroboree in King George Square during the Walk for Reconciliation in Brisbane, Queensland, 2000. Photographer Jo-Anne Driessens. (In copyright). John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 30299-0001-0049

Aborigines performing a corroboree in King George Square during the Walk for Reconciliation in Brisbane, Queensland, 2000. Photographer Jo-Anne Driessens. (In copyright). John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 30299-0001-0049

The Koori Mail reported on the events of that day – “The march was larger than organisers expected, with only about half of the marchers able to fit into King George Square for the ceremonies. As the marchers made their way to the square, an aeroplane wrote ‘Sorry’ in the sky to mimic the events of the hugely successful Corroboree 2000 bridge walk in Sydney.”

Among the marchers were Queensland Premier Peter Beattie and Brisbane Lord Mayor Jim Soorley. Soorley told the Courier-Mail – “We have seen today thousands of people in Brisbane come out to say we are sorry for the past injustices inflicted on Aboriginal people and we want to be reconciled and able to create a future together”.

Dancers performing during the Walk for Reconciliation in Brisbane, Queensland, 2000. Photograpger Jo-Anne Driessens. (In copyright). John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 30299-0001-0048

Dancers performing during the Walk for Reconciliation in Brisbane, Queensland, 2000. Photograpger Jo-Anne Driessens. (In copyright). John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 30299-0001-0048

The rally featured a walk across the William Jolly Bridge and a wreath-laying ceremony in King George Square with traditional dancers. A free afternoon concert was held at the City Botanic Gardens Riverstage.

These images were taken by photographer Jo-Anne Driessens. A collection of her photographs can be viewed online through our One Search catalogue.

Myles Sinnamon – Project Coordinator, State Library of Queensland