AROUND 100 locals of all ages gathered to celebrate Reconciliation Week with an informal gathering at Wonthaggi Community Garden in White Road.
Business manager of South Gippsland Aboriginal Health Service, Sonia Weston, said it was great to see so many young people and children getting involved in Reconciliation Week activities.
“This gathering is awesome, just seeing everyone here together like this,” Ms Weston commented.
Children from Bass Coast Children’s Centre and Family Day Care got busy planting veggies, playing drums, cooking and tasting damper, as well as enjoying hot, home-made soup and toasted marshmallows.
Local indigenous artist, Patrice Mahoney, enlightened everyone, sharing stories, singing songs and painting children’s faces.
Multi-talented South Dudley artist Tom Murray-White and a group of VCAL students kept the rhythm going with their drums, while Anna Gebhardt from the West Gippsland Regional Library Corporation enthralled everybody with a very lively ‘Storytime’ session.
Ailsa Drent, a founding member of the Bass Coast and South Gippsland Reconciliation Group (BCSGRG) said the garden provided the perfect setting for the event.
“What better place than a garden to represent us, growing in understanding,” Ms Drent said.
“Here we are getting together and sharing food, taking significant steps.”
Ms Weston said a Learning Stone space, in progress within the community garden, would be a place where anyone could come to learn about indigenous culture.
She said the indigenous cultural education available to young children and students today was very different from what she experienced growing up.
Event organiser Katherine Cousins from the BCSGRG said she was thrilled with the attendance.
Ms Cousins said she really appreciated the support of the many local individuals and groups, including: BCSGRG, Wonthaggi Community Garden, Aboriginal Health Service, VCAL staff and students, Bass Coast Adult Education Centre ESL and CGEA, Wonthaggi U3A, Wonthaggi Woodcrafters, Mitchell House Harvest Centre, Bass Coast Regional Health, Bass Coast and South Gippsland Shire Councils, Bass Coast Children’s Centre and Family Day Care, 3MFM, GippSport and many other local health services.
BCSGRG meet monthly in Inverloch.
For more information, contact Marg Lynn on 0419 361 039 or email firstname.lastname@example.org