Fun and reflection: an indigenous perspective on Australia Day

THERE will be an indigenous alternative to traditional Australia Day celebrations tomorrow with the inaugural Tarerer Gunditj Survival Day at Crossley. 

Tarerer Gunditj chairman and event organiser Brett Clarke said the event aimed to raise awareness to the struggle of Australia’s indigenous people while exposing the wider community to their often unseen culture.

“The event is about bringing awareness and understanding of the culture and history and also the plight of the Aboriginal people,” Mr Clarke said. “There’s a lot of stigmatisation in the community ... where people look down on the Aboriginal people but they’ve never even met the Aboriginal people.

“Hopefully this will help expose our culture and history and help people get over stereotypes.

“Indigenous people all over Australia celebrate their own Survival Day in different ways and this is how we’re doing it.”

Starting at 3pm, the day will feature children’s activities such as indigenous games, traditional pelt bag making and basket weaving, with the launch of the documentary film Yarnin’ to follow. A number of local bands including Patricia Clark, Oriel Glennen, Marky Alberts, The Howard Family, Kombination and Rahboo & The Rainbow Experience will play until late.

“We hope to get people yarning and getting discussion going and putting our heads together and moving forward,” Mr Clarke said. 

The day would aimed to lift awareness of the oppression indigenous people face, he said. “It’s a day of mourning for us ... It was a pretty hard time for the indigenous people.” 

Survival Day will be held at St Brigid's Church.

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