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Celebrating NAIDOC Week 2020

By November 17, 2020January 20th, 2021No Comments
Banner outside of Coburg Town Hall with text 'one blood, one world: stand up against racism'

Merri-bek is proud to recognise the Wurundjeri people of the Woi Wurrung language group as the traditional custodians of the area. This year NAIDOC week was held from November 8-15 with the theme, Always Was Always Will Be. There were a number of events to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Merri Murnong Gathering

Wurundjeri elder Uncle Bill Nicholson joined the Merri Murnong community group to talk about the special Murnong (Yam Daisy) plant. They discussed the caring for country approach used to preserve and protect this important plant and other native flora. These plants form the beautiful ecosystems found along the Merri Merri Creek and other waterways.

Demonstrating delicious modern bush food

Kamilaroi and Wiradjuri woman Joanne Russell brought bush foods into our kitchens. Her mountain pepper, bush tomato, kangaroo and saltbush sausage rolls and lemon myrtle scones provided some delicious recipe inspiration.

Enjoying bush foods and supporting Indigenous businesses who grow climate adapted foods is a fantastic way to celebrate ongoing Indigenous culture.

You can find revisit her cooking demonstration here.

New artwork by Robert Michael Young

Merri-bek in collaboration with Yarra Valley Water was also very excited to announce the creation of a stunning piece of public art on one of the municipality’s new water drinking fountains.

Gunnai and Wiradjuri artist Robert Michael Young took inspiration from rivers and creeks and beautifully  depicted the native Murray cod and a freshwater turtle on the Glenroy water fountain.

He remarked that “how we actually take care of our country, how of our community is a reflection of our community, how we view our environment”.

The artwork also comes to life through augmented reality technology as part of the SmartART Merri-bek project.

You can watch more about Robert’s art on this Merri-bek drinking fountain here. We encourage all Merri-bek residents to use a refillable water bottle to reduce the amount of single use plastic in our environment. You can locate a water fountain near you here.

One blood, one world: Stand up against racism

Moreland’s Coburg and Brunswick Town Halls also looked different. New banners announcing Moreland’s commitment to anti-racism feature the slogan “One blood, one world: Stand up against racism”.

The banners were developed in consultation with Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung elders and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members of the Merri-bek Reconciliation Working Group. With ongoing racism against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and other groups in communities around Australia, Merri-bek is committed to promoting social cohesion and stamping out racism.

Always Was Always Will Be

Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation offers numerous services throughout the year to people living and working on Wurundjeri country which includes Merri-bek suburbs. As well as cultural awareness training, consultations and event practices, the corporation offers natural resource management services.

Supporting ongoing connection of Indigenous people to country is essential in creating a just and safe climate for all.