Mildura’s 2019 NAIDOC Corroboree has been recognised statewide for advancing reconciliation after last week receiving a prestigious Reconciliation Victoria HART Award.
The HART (Helping Achieve Reconciliation Together) Awards were established in 2014 to recognise local governments and community organisations that advance reconciliation in Victoria.
Last year’s Corroboree at Nowingi Place was an initiative of Mildura Rural City Council and the Aboriginal Action Committee (AAC).
Held on 7 July, it was designed to celebrate our region’s rich traditional culture, while helping our community gain a greater understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
It also marked a major milestone with inclusion for the first time of Mildura’s first Registered Aboriginal Party – the First People of the Millewa-Mallee Aboriginal Corporation (FPMMAC).
FPMMAC Traditional Owners officially opened the Corroboree with a Welcome to Country and participated throughout the event with cultural songs and dance.
The Corroboree was shortlisted among 16 other finalists across Victoria before last week taking out the Local Government category.
Councillor for Community Development and Gender Equality Helen Healy said the accolade was fitting recognition for those involved in organising last year’s event.
“Everyone involved in making last year’s Corroboree such a success put in an exhaustive amount of work to make it happen,” Cr Healy said.
“This prestigious award shows that this fantastic team not only successfully ran a major public event, but more importantly, ensured it had real meaning and made a real difference in communicating the reconciliation message.”
Nominations were judged on the way organisations work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to strengthen true reconciliation, awareness and education.
Initiatives also needed to illustrate the significance of Aboriginal culture and the importance it holds for the local community.
All submissions were endorsed by local members of their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community before being judged by Reconciliation Victoria.