Cire recently reached out to all those within our reach for NAIDOC Week 2020, honouring the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
This year’s theme ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’ inspired great discussions about how privileged we are to live, work and play in a region so rich in Indigenous history, culture and connections.
Cire Community Hubs organised an engaging mix of activities to acknowledge and share Indigenous culture with some activities highlighted on our social media pages. The Hubs team rose to the challenge of COVID restrictions to modify its original plans for face-to-face events for virtual delivery where necessary.
Toddlers at Cire Children’s Centre, Yarra Junction learned about bush tucker. Freezing Australian mint into ice cubes created a great sensory activity for the children to explore through touch and smell.
Thanks to funding from The National Indigenous Australians Agency the Hubs team created a video featuring family-focused activities to celebrate the rich culture of Indigenous people in the Yarra Ranges and timeless connection with Birrarung (Yarra River).
We also worked with Indigenous educator, Emily Webbers from Wurruck Yambo to introduce some of the wildlife who call Birrarung home. This segment incorporated Emily’s many resources, recreating the river, the banks and the trees. We learned some local language and the ways that history intertwines with the environment through every animal and plant.
Ivor Wolstencroft, a Yarra Ranges local, shared his kayaking journey along most of the meandering length of the Yarra River. Over 13 days, Ivor voyaged from Warburton to Williamstown in an inflatable kayak, experiencing a unique perspective of Birrarung. The birdlife was a recurring interest along the way, so much so that Ivor created an artwork featuring a Sacred Kingfisher who he ‘met’ on his trip.
Cire’s NAIDOC Week video reminded everyone that our local area always was, and always will be an incredibly beautiful and significant part of Australia and its history. We acknowledge and thank the traditional custodians, and we look forward to walking together towards a future of respectful curiosity and knowledge sharing.
For those keen to learn more about the Indigenous influence in our region, Yarra Ranges Council has prepared a podcast with Wurundjeri Elder Uncle Dave Wandin discussing land management.