The Dimboola Australia Day ceremony, crowd of more than 70 people gave Aboriginal Wotjobaluk Elder, Aunty Nancy Harrison accolades for her speech she gave on top of her ‘Welcome to Country’.
The highly respected community leader of Dimboola, Aunty Nancy is an intelligent women and admired, not only among her own people, but the whole of Dimboola.
While Nancy was not trying to make a political stance regarding the change of date for Australia Day, she did feel it was important to voice her views on the subject. The support for what she said echoed across the crowd with unexpected cheers and applause.
The words that moved the crowd were also echoed by Hindmarsh Shire Mayor Cr Ron Ismay when he gave his Australia Day speech in Nhill later in the morning that he had modified between Dimboola and Nhill. Cr Ismay felt it was important to convey Aunty Nancy’s thoughts on the subject to the people of Nhill.
Aunty Nancy was not critical of those who wanted the day changed, but pointed out that Australia Day was an important date in building relationships with her people and other Australians. She said that the date has been accepted by many of her people all around Australia.
“Remember the good things that have come out of this day and we will keep building on our strengths and achievements for us Australians, we are proud of who and what we are,” she said
With permission from Aunty Nancy the Dimboola Banner is able to print her powerful speech below, so everyone can share in her thoughts.
Daalki Burrpatta Moousil
Good Morning everyone.
Kap nerring bap Nancy Carol Harrison
My name is Auntie Nancy Carol Harrison and I am an Elder of the Wotjobaluk people and a traditional owner of this area.
I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land in which we meet – the Wotjobaluk , Joadasa, Jaudwadjahi, Wergaaca and Jupagalk people, their elders past and present and elders here today.
Through our organisation the Barengi Gadjin Land Council and Goolum Goolum cooperative, we hope to achieve and strengthen our relationships that were formed through the development of our Native Title Agreement.
These relationships involve;
- Parks Victoria
- Hindmarsh Shire Council and neighbouring councils
- The various schools throughout the region, whereby we hope to work together in the spirit of mutual respect and understanding.
I would like to welcome our very important guest, shire councilors, and everyone here today.
It is sad that there is a cloud hanging over us with some people trying to change this important and significant day; Australia Day. I believe there should not be changes to this date, today, is with us forever. Quite a few of my people, Australia wide, have accepted and acknowledged this day, as well. Remember the good things that have come out of this day and we will keep building on our strengths and achievements for us Australians, we are proud of who and what we are.
The old people from way back knew it was inevitable that settlers would come. Proof of this is in the rock paintings of the sailing ships that were seen by them.
Thank you for allowing me to provide todays welcome and I would like to close with word from the Wotjobaluk language.
Dalgvic Wadaitj Bza-ka Wotjobaluk
It is good you have come here today, here on Wotjobaluk country.
May you all enjoy today’s activities and have a lovely day.
May the spirits watch over you from the dreamtime and may god bless you all.
Aunty Nancy Harrison