Deniliquin Local Aboriginal Lands Council’s Fred Egan performed a special ‘Smoking Ceremony’ in Jerilderie recently to promote community cohesiveness.
It was part of a ceremony to celebrate the Coming Together and Sharing Day initiative on Thursday, May 4.
Organised by Jerilderie’s Roslyn Lockhart, who is care manager for Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative Ltd, more than 90 people attended the special day.
Along with others from Deniliquin, guests also came from Albury, Shepparton, Swan Hill, Coleambally, Darlington Point, Griffith,Wagga, Barooga, Finley,Wodonga, Bendigo and Jerilderie.
The proceedings began with a Welcome to Country performed by Fred Dowling and his sons Fred and Alan, and a traditional performance by a group of young men from Bangerang Cultural Centre in Shepparton.
Mr Egan’s ‘Smoking Ceremony’ was held in the grounds surrounding the Jerilderie Civic Hall before the day’s presentations were held.
Sue Logie, from Murray Local Land Services in Deniliquin, spoke on the importance of native seed collection.
Rex Conallin from the LLS Albury office, and originally from Deniliquin, gave an interesting and informative talk on the lives and habits of native fish inhabiting our waterways.
Jenny Hehir stressed the need for government authorities to be aware of the Indigenous Australian’s connection to our rivers and creeks, and their importance in traditional and contemporary lifestyles.
A delightful lunch of kangaroo pies, from Parker’s Pies in Rutherglen, and quiches was served by the St Joseph’s catering committee.
It is understood that the quiches were to have been made from emu eggs, but the big birds were not co-operating in providing the goods — wrong time of the year for them to be laying. The elegant table settings matched the theme with native flowers and sticks providing the centrepieces.
After lunch everyone stretched their legs and had the choice of three separate activities outside the hall.
One was to view the ‘big canvas’ now temporarily displayed in the Council Chambers.
The others included a guided tour of the Bush Tucker Trail, and to view the native humpy built along Horgan’s Walk.
There was also a basket weaving session in the Civic Hall and static displays of Australian and local flora and fauna and basket weaving, organised by Murray LLS and the Yarkuwa Indigenous Knowledge Centre in Deniliquin respectively.
~ with Judy Ryan