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Aboriginal Elder Geraldine Hayden taught children like Cruz and Anaya how to make traditional stick dolls for NAIDOC Week.

Healing country together

By Melissa Sheil

KALAMUNDA pressed on with its scheduled week of small-scale NAIDOC celebrations as government restrictions saw the large scale events for Mundaring and Swan cancelled.

Celebrating this years motto of “Heal Country”, the City hosted a different Aboriginal Elder-led event every day from July 5 to 10, educating and inspiring visitors about indigenous culture.

Attendees experienced a cultural bush walk and smoking ceremony, author book reading, lessons on bush tucker and medicine, sound session, and story time around a campfire.

Tuesday saw many children flock to the Kalamunda Community Centre and enjoy lessons in Aboriginal stick doll and toy making with Elder Geraldine Hayden.

“Making the dolls out of twigs and gumnuts lets us experience what the old people had growing up,” Ms Hayden said.

“They didn’t have dolls and have to create their own out of whatever they could find.

“The kids are really getting into it but so are the parents, which is brilliant.”

Over at Kalamunda Senior High School, NAIDOC celebrations were in full swing last week, with a stirring welcome to country from owner and lead guide at Warrang-Bridil Nick Abraham and guest speech from Midland Police acting sergeant Bevan O’Donnell, who spoke in his native language for the first time in public.

Indigenous Year 12 student Coen Fowler composed an original score for the assembly, combining the traditional sounds of his didgeridoo with guitar and modern synthesis.

Coen said his piece aimed to celebrate and encourage the adoption of Aboriginal culture dance and music to the modern scene.

The Shire of Mundaring’s NAIDOC events at the Child and Parent Middle Swan Hub and Middle Swan Primary School have been postponed until September.

The City of Swan, together with the Midland NAIDOC 2021 Committee, postponed their July 6 event until October due to the large crowd expected.

The City of Swan will host the Giynung Ellenbrook NAIDOC festival 2021 at Woodlake Amphitheatre and Park in Ellenbrook next week on Saturday, July 17.

The family event will celebrate Indigenous culture through live music, workshops, dancers, grass tree burning, and a range of other cultural activities.

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