Going forward as one

SOCIAL CHANGE: All are invited down to Ted Scobie Oval on Tuesday to revel in the Aboriginal culture on display. Picture: Riley KrauseA Wiradjuri Cultural & Sport Festival will be held at Ted Scobie Oval on January 26 in an effort to remember Aboriginal culture and also bring Griffith together.

The day will feature cultural dances andspeeches, but the main attractionwill be the touch football competition that will run all day.

One oftheorganisers, Ronnie Bamblet, hoped that through sport, people could move forward together.

“We’re using sports as a vehicle for social change and giving opportunities to our community members to come out and share in the day,” he said.

”It’s bringing the culture to the young people as wellbecause not a lot would know much.

“Some have been asking how they would go about getting a dance group going, so this is a perfect opportunity for that to happen.”

Kerry Johnson said Australia Day brought her mixed emotions.

“For us it marks the start of colonisation and with that came a lot of hurt,” she said.

“We as Aboriginal people can’t not remember that, but at the same time we have to keep moving forward for our young people.

“So while it’s a day of remembrance and paying respect, it’s also a celebration of survival.

“We are about reconciliation.”

The day will start off with the official opening at 8.30am thenthere will be aformal ceremonyaround the significance of the day for Aboriginal people.

After the speeches there will bea 20 minutedance ceremony and then it’s into the football where more than 20 teams will take part in a round robin affair before grand finals are played at around 6pm.

“Wehope to build the capacity of the eventto where we’re bringing in members from other communities,” Ms Johnson said.

“It could work out to be a major event.

“It’s progressing, It’s inclusive,it’s positive and the community needs positives.

“We need to share a sense of empowerment not only for the young people but the old people as well.

“It allows organisations to come together and look at how we can make a change.”

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