Closing Ceremony of NAIDOC Week Celebrations 2014 in Fremantle

Last Friday Terra Rosa CRM attended the closing activities for NAIDOC Week 2014, celebrated at the Fremantle Round House.  The event officially began with a short speech from Dr. Brad Pettit, major of the City of Fremantle.  The theme of this year’s NAIDOC celebrations is Servicing Country: Centenary & Beyond, and accordingly, a small but very interesting display of memorabilia from Aboriginal soldiers who have fought for Australia was on display inside the Aboriginal Cultural Centre.  This centre opened its doors last March and will be housing different activities for adults and children throughout the year. You can find the Centre at 12 Captain’s Lane in Fremantle.

Welcome to Nyoongar country by Trevor Walley was very interesting as he showed the gifts he brought to donate to the Aboriginal Cultural Centre, including seven rocks, sticks, and paperbark.  He explained that Fremantle is very important and significant, as it forms a part of the ancient dreamtime story of the Nyoongar people.

Entertainment was provided by the talented Phillip Walley, who performed some songs from his own material, including some from his show international show Strong.  He travels around the world presenting his show, which includes more musicians and dancers.  But tonight, he performed solo and played the didgeridoo and the guitar, while singing some songs that he kindly explained to the audience.  He explained the different sounds that can be made with a didgeridoo, including kangaroo, dingo, and kookaburra.  His stories and songs were very enjoyable and made the audience laugh!

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It was a chilli and rainy night in Fremantle, but that didn’t stop adults and children of enjoying themselves.  With an attendance of more than 50 people, traditional bush tucker with a gourmet twist was served for all attendees for free.  Kangaroo sausages, emu burgers, crocodile skewers, damper, salads, and a variety of non-alcoholic drinks were available and were a delicious way to finish the night.

To close the event, a group of young Aboriginal dancers also performed a few dances accompanied by a didgeridoo.  The importance of continuing teaching the culture and passing it on to younger generations, and involving them in celebrations like this, was very evident to all people present.  The young men concluded their dances by thanking the public and shaking everybody’s hands as they left the stage.  We hope that next year’s event is as successful as this year’s and looking forward to seeing you all in Fremantle!

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