‘Wanju’ a Noongar word meaning ‘welcome’ was certainly an apt choice for our Cyril Jackson Senior Campus participation in the celebration of language and culture on NAIDOC Family Day at Ashfield Reserve. For we were greatly welcomed and in turn could wholeheartedly welcome others to join us.  Our involvement included completing the Dandjoo Koorliny Reconciliation walk with other community members; Kayleigh Geldenhuys preparing and guiding the very popular clay pottery activity; and being able to offer Cath MacDougall’s scrumptious wattle-seed brownies to eager children and their families.

It was an honour to walk from the Bassendean Council Administration to the Welcome to Country and flag raising ceremony at the Ashfield Reserve gathering which highlighted so many government and non-Government organisations and corporations proudly Aboriginal and proudly associated with Aboriginal people.

As well as cancer support, physiotherapy and eye health professionals, health representatives included Marr Mooditj, an Indigenous health care provider and Yorgum Corporation, an Aboriginal counselling service. Also there to answer questions and provide information were Human Services, the Equal Opportunity Commission, the Department of Veteran Affairs, the Housing Authority and the Australian Taxation Office. ‘Deadly Jobs’ outlined employment opportunities and job-seeking strategies, Ngala offered advice on early parenting and childhood while many voluntary organisations like ‘People who Care’ and community groups like ‘Men’s shed enthusiastically shared their experiences.

Entertainment was provided by Noongar Radio Live (100.9FM) featuring Gina Williams, hot Likwid, Madjitil Moorna Choir, Abmusic showcase and our very own Vanessa Hopes. Barbecue and coffee facilities were also available all day, traditional bush tucker being represented by Urban Indigenous and Marissa Vermi from Bindi Bindi Dreaming, a favourite visitor to our campus.

Besides our very popular clay pottery, fun activities included bouncy castles, face painting, train rides and rock climbing. What a delight to see children of many different cultures working together and proud parents and grandparents witnessing this.

You’ll agree NAIDOC Family Day celebrations on Ashfield Reserve are not to be missed. See you there in 2018!

Written by Jeannie Stevenson

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