It was very special to be part of the Wurundjeri Walk and Welcome yesterday as a fundraiser event to mark the beginning of Reconciliation Week 2018.
We are delighted to have raised $595 for The Meeting Place, a bush school for indigenous children.
We were blessed with warm May weather for the event, and around 30 folk joined us either for all or some of the day.
Walking with Uncle Ian Hunter (Wurundjeri elder), through the back streets of Northcote and North Fitzroy, along the banks of the Merri Creek, was a wonderful way to reconnect with the land and hear first-hand some of the powerful stories and local knowledge that Ian shared so generously.
I was particularly struck by two stories: first, when he described his mother’s ancestors on Ruckers Hill looking out across and towards the bay, where the Melbourne CBD skyline now stands, and seeing what they thought were giant logs with clouds attached coming ashore (the first tall ships).
The second story was especially moving, when we visited the site of the original plaque commemorating where John Batman signed the treaty with one of Ian’s ancestors. We stood and reflected on much that has eventuated since that time. The plaque no longer remains – just a clump of old cement on the banks of the Merri Creek, with a backdrop of graffiti on the wall of the old marble factory.
It was a rich day… a smoking ceremony on arrival at the hall, a moment for Ian Hunter and Father Savino of St Brigid’s Parish to meet and find common ground as spiritual leaders. Then into the hall to dance on the new floorboards of St Brigid’s – with Ian teaching us a clap stick rhythm and dance moves based on our own heartbeat rhythm.
Of course a delicious Wave followed – the 5Rhythms of our dance practice.
So, our hearts are beating a little louder and clearer today…
I personally feel deeply touched by the experience. It’s something hard to put into words – spending time and receiving knowledge from an indigenous elder… but somehow it helps me feel a deeper connection to place and purpose and for that I am truly grateful!
Thank you all for your contributions and willingness to share in this special experience.
Special thanks go to Thais Sansom – our dear friend and collaborator who has held this dream since first working with Ian at CERES 30 years ago. For her connections to Ian, along with Aunty Kath and Aunty Julie at The Meeting Place who were so overjoyed to receive their donation today as they held rituals in Castlemaine to mark reconciliation week. There has been progress – every little thing we do counts.
With gratitude to you all
On behalf of the Moving Essence family