Cultural pride on show

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Cultural pride on show

The Mount Gambier City Council, in collaboration with Burrandies Aboriginal Corporation, Pangula Mannamurna Aboriginal Corporation and Aboriginal Family Support Services, hosted the annual NAIDOC Week Community Celebration yesterday with a gathering at the Cave Gardens.

NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for all Australians to learn about First Nations cultures and histories and participate in celebrations of the oldest, continuous living cultures on earth.

The community celebration included a reception hosted by Mount Gambier Mayor Lynette Martin OAM, a Smoking Ceremony led by local cultural leaders and a flag raising ceremony featuring the raising of the Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags.

“This is a truly collaborative annual event in celebration of the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It’s an event that I look forward to each year,” Mayor Martin said.

“We have an ever-growing First Nations community in Mount Gambier and I’m proud to work alongside our Elders and cultural leaders in important events like this.

“These celebrations bring our community together and highlight the rich contribution that our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples make to the cultural landscape of our city.”

A unique feature of the event was the leadership of three generations of the Brennan family.

Esteemed local Elder Aunty Val Brennan will raise the Aboriginal flag and her son Tim and his three sons Alfie, Bobby and Chuck, provided a Welcome to Country to officially open the event.

Mayor Martin acknowledged that this connection, which celebrates intergenerational cultural leadership, aligns with the 2024 NAIDOC theme Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud.

“We will be witness to a great example of how cultural leadership is passed from one generation to another, fostering emerging leaders within our community and therefore keeping the fire burning into the future,” she said.

The NAIDOC community street march along Commercial Street to Pangula Mannamurna followed, where a community barbecue and the presentation of the 2024 NAIDOC Awards took place.

Tomorrow the library will host a book reading of Annie’s Story with local Elder Aunty Michelle Jacquelin-Furr at 10am.

The story focuses on Annie as a child, learning from Elders with other children in the mob.

A puzzle and craft activity will follow. The activity is suitable for children aged 5 to 7.

An artwork created by local artist Belinda Bonney and community members during Reconciliation Week will also be on show in the library throughout NAIDOC Week.

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