The Belgrave Survival Day 2013 demonstrated once again how the event continues to grow from year to year. Attended by well over 1000 people the day was rich in entertainment and also education.
We were lucky enough to have Leila Gurriwiwi return as our MC for the third year and she did a great job. It was also pleasing to hear from Leila that the Mangrook Footy Show will be returning this year on NITV.
As always we were treated to some great music on the day. David Martin performed an energetic contemporary Didgeridoo set accompanied by the drums. Photo by John Weeks
Benny Walker and Band gave a crowd pleasing set
Whilst Lady Lash delivered some blistering hip hop.
Uncle Bill Nicholson Wurundjeri elder and Jindi Worobak Dance Troupe returned again as well. Uncle Bill educated the crowd on the culture and history of the Wurundjeri. Uncle Bill then performed a smoking ceremony to Welcome people formally to Wurundjeri land.
A focus of this year’s event was the 150th Anniversary of the establishment of the Cooranderk Mission. The Shire of Yarra Ranges Regional Museum had a stall on the history of the mission. We were also privileged to have Healesville elder Aunty Dot Peters both speak and hold workshops teaching the traditional skill of weaving using flax leaves. Aunty Dot is a living connection to Cooranderrk as her grandmother was born on the Mission. The Southern Dandenong Landcare Group also sold many Cooranderk or Christmas Bush plants which will no doubt flourish around the hills. This was the plant the mission was named after.
Watch a Great documentary on Cooranderrk from The First Australians series.
Belgrave Survival Day over the years has developed into a great family day with heaps of childrens activities. This year there was even more for the kids to do than ever. Mullum Mullum Indigenous Gathering Place ran boomerang decorating, Uncle Phil had the children enraptured with colorful lessons on making damper, Tr@k helped the children make indigenous badges and flags and Oxfam did face painting. A coloring in competition was enthusiastically undertaken too.
Gnarrayarrahe was a big presence on the day. In his fifth appearance at Survival Day in Belgrave he performed a Didgeridoo meditation and reprised the crowd favourite “Black Elvis” as well teaching children traditional dance in a well attended workshop.
3MDR 97.1FM again simulcast the day whilst volunteers interviewed attendees and Rod Neason video’s the concert. 3CR also simulcast the event from 12-4PM whilst Gilla interviewed the crowd. The ongoing support of these two community radio stations is a fabulous contribution to our day.
Political speeches on the day came from YouMeUnity who were also one of our major funders. Damian from Reconciliation Victoria spoke about the campaign to recognise Indigenous Australians in the Australian Constitution and remove the overtly racist elements of the constitution.
Geogina from Concerned Australians spoke at length about the devastating effects of the NT Intervention and its continuance by the Federal ALP Government through the “Stronger Futures” Legislation. Our MC Leila Gurriwiwi shared how her immediate family were being personally affected very badly by this racist legislation.
Rodney Augustine Jabbir Jabbir a Nyul Nyul man from Walmadan Country is Calling then spoke sharing how important the fight against the industrialisation of the Kimberley for the sake of the profits of a few huge corporations. The crowd was invited to “Stand up for Burrup”
Thanks again to major sponsors Shire of Yarra Ranges, Samantha Dunn Lyster Ward Councilor and the YouMeUnity campaign.
Belgrave Survival Day is organised by a hardworking group of volunteers – so big thanks to all of them!! See you next January 26th at Borthwick Park for Belgrave Survival Day 2014
More Photos of the Day
John Weeks’s fabulous photos
Photos on our Facebook Page
Download the Program from the day here
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