Significance behind display of 250 flags
TWO-hundred-and-fifty Aboriginal flags fly to symbolise 250 years of survival and history and announcement of the inaugural 1770 Cultural Connections Immersion Festival.
Gidarjil Development Corporation general manager Dr Kerry Blackman said this festival was never in protest of Captain James Cook or the 1770 Festival; rather it was a means to showcase more than 60,000 years of Aboriginal history and culture in the region.
The two-day festival will see the 1770 SES grounds come alive with cultural workshops, music, language lessons, kids’ entertainment, guest speaks including traditional owners, and food stalls.
Dr Blackman said among activities planned was a virtual reality tent set up to provide an insight into how the landscape used to look like.
The activities have been designed with cultural sensitivity by and for the Traditional Owners of the region.
There has been significant engagement with the local First Nation People, the Byellee, Gooreng Gooreng and Taribelang Bunda, and non-Indigenous stakeholders in the community.
Dr Blackman said despite everything, Aboriginal culture was not only alive and well today, but it was thriving.
A strong culture is indicative of strong people and for Dr Blackman this next step towards reconciliation is a treaty
“We’re here today, we have survived,” he said.
“It’s time for voice, truth and treaty in this country.
“D-Day has come for Australia to face up to voice, truth and treaty.”
Dr Blackman said a divided house would fall and “the more we unite the stronger we will be”.
During Reconciliation Week Dr Blackman said there needed to be true repentance and acknowledgment of the past, “so we can both own it together, both black and white … then we can truly unite Australia and truly be in this together and walk together, work together, do business together, develop ideas together, talk together to continue dialogue together to make Australia and especially our region, a fair and just society for all.”
Dr Blackman said they were invested in the proposal of a formal regionally specific true repentance Reconciliation Ceremony.
The 1770 Cultural Connections Immersion Festival will be held from October 2-3.