City of Parramatta will host a number of community events over the coming months as part of a unique Indigenous event program called Warami, a Darug word meaning “good to see you”.
The series of events – which includes National Sorry Day, Reconciliation Week, Burramatta NAIDOC, NRL Indigenous Round matches and an invitation-only camp – runs from 23 May until September 2019.
“For more than 60,000 years the Burramattagal people have called Parramatta home, so it’s wonderful to have an event program that recognises and celebrates our Indigenous community and their strong ongoing connection to the region,” City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Andrew Wilson said.
“Warami also provides an opportunity for the wider community to come together to learn about and experience the rich culture and traditions of our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”
The program kicks off when the Parramatta Eels take on the Penrith Panthers as part of the NRL’s Indigenous Round at Bankwest Stadium on Thursday 23 May. The match will include a Darug Welcome Ceremony, led by Darug community leaders Peta Strachan and Jie Pittman, and a performance featuring traditional dancers and musicians.
On Sunday 26 May, National Sorry Day, an event will be held at Old Government House in Parramatta Park from 10am-12 noon to acknowledge and recognise members of the Stolen Generations. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will gather to practise traditions for healing, as well as Smoking and Welcome Ceremonies, storytelling, and music and dance performances.
This is followed by Reconciliation Week, Monday 27 May to Monday 3 June, which boasts a number of activities – from heritage walks to interactive installations and a market. The market will take place in Centenary Square on Friday 31 May and will feature art, clothing and food stalls, as well as a special evening performance by renowned Australian singer-songwriter Archie Roach.
Burramatta NAIDOC returns to Parramatta Park on Sunday 14 July, from 11am to 6pm. This year’s event, which is themed VOICE. TREATY. TRUTH. Let’s work together for a shared future, will consist of traditional and contemporary music and dance performances, market stalls and workshops among other offerings.