Celebrating NAIDOC Week
“Our Languages Matter”
We acknowledge the Boon Wurrung Peoples, traditional custodians of the land on which Koolin-ik ba Kirrip-buluk (family and friends) event is held and pay our respects to Elders, past, present and future.
The annual Koolin-ik ba Kirrip-buluk NAIDOC event was held on Wednesday 5 July at Cranbourne Gardens, with over 3,000 visitors attending. This family friendly day works to develop and embrace respect and understanding of Indigenous culture and its importance to the wider community.
NAIDOC Week is celebrated nationally by all Australians in recognition of the history, culture and achievements of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and the deep spiritual significance of these to self-identity.
This year’s theme is Our Languages Matter and to celebrate, interactive learning activities were organised, including the launch of Jeanette Rowe’s bilingual book, Whose Animals? Australia, which incorporates both English and the first languages. Boon Wurrung language translations were available for families to place inside their own copies to take home.
Boon Wurrung Elder, Aunty Fay Stewart-Muir has been instrumental in the development of the Whose Animals? Australia book, ensuring that unique elements of each animal’s tracks, habitats and foods are captured in the book to inspire conversations with children.
Beginning with a Welcome to Country, the activities of the day also included traditional storytelling with Uncle Ron Murray, Baluk Arts traditional weaving, nature based crafts, bush walks and a variety of traditional and modern games. A highlight of the afternoon was a performance by members of Indigenous Hip Hop Projects, who engaged audience members of all ages. A free community barbecue lunch was also provided for all who attended.
Melbourne Gardens also participated in NAIDOC Week, with a Koolin ngargee family celebration day held on Thursday 6 July for 240 visitors. Hosted by our Aboriginal Heritage Team, staff and volunteers at the Ian Potter Children’s Centre, the day was full of activities. These included story telling with Aunty Fay in the language of the Boon Wurrung, didjeridoo and stories by Uncle Ron Murray, ochre painting activities for children. Delicious biscuits made with native ingredients were provided for visitors along with a traditional cup of warm lemon myrtle tea.
Cranbourne Gardens NAIDOC Week celebration was supported by a community partnership network that includes; the Victorian Corporation of Languages, Dandenong District Aboriginal Coop, Windermere, Casey Cardinia Library – Library Has Legs, Anglicare, City of Greater Dandenong, City of Casey, Mission Australia, Life without Barriers and Southern Melbourne Primary Care Partnership.