The Sunraysia community is invited to celebrate and learn about Aboriginal history and culture during NAIDOC Week at a Corroboree on Mildura’s riverfront this weekend.
Mildura Rural City Council and the Aboriginal Action Committee have planned the community event for Sunday 7 July at Nowingi Place.
Running from 1pm to 5pm, the Corroboree will feature cultural workshops, stalls, entertainment and cultural native foods.
The centrepiece of the afternoon will be a Corroboree, a Traditional Aboriginal dance ceremony performed on a stage of sand. In a contemporary interpretation of the Aboriginal Tradition, a number of different Aboriginal dance groups will perform and all event attendees will have an opportunity to join in too.
Councillor for Community Development and Gender Equality Helen Healy said this year’s event would be particularly special as it features an official opening and Welcome to Country by Mildura’s first Registered Aboriginal Party – The First People of the Millewa-Mallee Aboriginal Corporation (FPMMAC).
The FPMMAC are Nyeri Nyeri, Wergaia, Ngintait and Latji Latji Traditional Owners of Country in the north west of Victoria that runs south of the Murray River to the Mallee Highway, and west from the Calder Highway to the South Australian border, including the Murray-Sunset National Park.
“The First People of the Millewa-Mallee will welcome us to country by a Traditional Owner and Elder followed by the Traditional Cultural Smoking ceremony,” Cr Healy said.
“In what will be a significant moment for this event, each Clan Group within the FPMMAC will share a brief description of their Cultural heritage and connection to Country, which will be followed by a welcome parade with all Traditional Owners and their families to open the 2019 Corroboree.”
Cr Healy said this year’s Corroboree would offer a unique opportunity for Sunraysia residents to learn about, and experience, the Traditional history of our region.
“NAIDOC Week, and our Corroboree specifically, offers a chance to get a real taste and feel for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures that lie at the historical heart of our municipality,” she said.
“Whether it’s sampling food that was the staple of the traditional owners of the land in our region thousands of years ago, to taking home some Aboriginal artwork or learning about the meaning behind Traditional dance movements, this is an opportunity that should be embraced by our region.”
The Corroboree is part of Council’s commitment to reconciliation through its Reconciliation Action Plan, recognising the cultures and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our community.