Each year NAIDOC calls on all of us to shine a light on our nation’s hidden and shameful history, and to celebrate and champion the cultures, achievements, and rights of First Nation peoples.
For NAIDOC 2022, the Neighbourhood Justice Centre partnered with CoHealth to host a ceremony for some 40 members of the African diaspora welcomed to country by the Wurundjeri Tribe Council.
The impetus for this celebration came from leaders of the African community who called for ways for people from the African continent to better understand and appreciate the world’s oldest living continuous culture.
The Wurunderji people have welcomed others to Country and performed cleansing and healing Smoking Ceremonies for thousands of years. Performing these ancient ceremonies for and with people driven from their homelands by serious social and political upheaval brought home the need for all of us to stretch across cultures to say, ‘welcome friend.’
The NJC thanks CoHealth for inviting us to be part of this event and to the Wurundjeri Tribe Council and members of the African community for making what we hope will become an annual gathering.
Images: Thane Garvey from the Wurunderji Tribe Council performs the Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony for members of Yarra's African communities.