Lords of the dance

Lords of the dance

AUGUST 2017 | Deborah Lynch

AS TASMANIAN Aboriginal musician Dwayne Everettsmith sang beautifully at the base of the cenotaph in Deloraine, small groups of people streamed along the riverbank through the gate near the bridge for the official NAIDOC week celebration.  Large groups came down the hill from Deloraine Primary School and Latrobe High School.

The organisers and speakers were elated when over 300 people arrived, greatly exceeding last year’s crowd.

With local Aboriginal Greg Murray as MC, the town’s Aboriginal Elder Hank Horton gave a Welcome to Country, and there was an address by Peter Ashton from the Deloraine RSL.  Six students from Our Lady of Mercy Primary School also gave a delightful presentation while Deloraine Aboriginal Elder, Uncle Viv, raised the Aboriginal Flag.

This year’s NAIDOC week’s commemorative badges and wristbands and its theme of ‘language matters’ were distributed as a smoking firestick.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’ flags were carried by randomly selected school children in a procession along the almost completed kooparoona niara Aboriginal Cultural Walk beside the riverbank to the Yarning Circle.  There, the crowd participated in a traditional smoking ceremony and watched a performance by ochre-covered cultural dancers.

Hank Horton found the event’s growing support marvellous, expressing his appreciation for all that was given by the Meander Valley Council, Deloraine House, Deloraine RSL, The Trade Training Centre and Aboriginal Community Pathways, with particular mention of Martin Hay and Bianca Templar from Colony 47.

Much of the crowd made their way to Deloraine House where cultural food was served during lunch.  Artwork by Deloraine Primary School students covered the walls and video presentations were viewed.  With the live music that followed after, everyone present was pleased with the wonderful day’s event.

 

 Mike Moores