TIME TO HEAL: First Nations people unite in dance
WHEN the message spread out across Australia for First Nations people to come together to heal the earth and unite its people, it went viral and people responded, including those in Hervey Bay.
Initiated in Australia by Gooreng Gooreng and Wakka Wakka man Alwyn Doolan via a social media post, the First Nation Dance was taken up by about 100 indigenous communities across Australia.
In Hervey Bay the Butchulla people met at Dayman Park, Urangan, on Sunday December 1 at noon.
They joined First Nations people across the world in dance to show respect and honour to the earth.
Spokeswoman Joyce Bonner said it was the first time the international event was held.
“It was about gathering as one people across the world,” she said.
“And it’s about showing respect for people who are no longer with us.”
Ms Bonner said people from all communities and walks of life joined in the dance, led by younger generations.
“Dance uplifts any drain or pain that has been inflicted throughout our lives,” she said.
“It’s about all of us coming together to unite and move forward.”
Ms Bonner said the dance was performed on sacred land to symbolise the claiming of country and the continuation of long held traditions and songlines.
She said it was particularly significant after the recent fires and encompassed the flora and fauna, which also needed to heal.
As traditional owners of the land it was the responsibility of First Nations people to lead the healing and path to the future, she said.
Four dances were conducted during the ceremonial event and included the Butchulla people’s traditional welcoming song and farewell to ensure safe travels wherever future paths may lead.