• Corroboree Wagga Wagga 2019. (Shennon Billingham)
The corroboree united different tribes, generations and cultural practices whilst sharing and acknowledging concerns about climate change.
By
Douglas Smith

Source:
NITV News
28 Oct 2019 - 8:56 PM  UPDATED 28 Oct 2019 - 8:56 PM

The Marrambidya Wetland on the outskirts of Wagga Wagga in News South Wales hosted it's first corroboree in 150-years over the weekend, with more than 1700 people from around the state coming together to share healing through cultural ceremony.

Speaking to NITV News on Monday, the event's organiser and Wiradjuri man, Joe Williams, said some Elders "had tears in their eyes" as they watched proceedings, because they were deprived of the same type of "cultural practice" when they were young. 

“Unfortunately for them, they had all this type of practice robbed from their youth," said Mr Williams,  "So it was about trying to bring back some empowerment to the community," he said.

Mr Williams said it was good to see men, women and children of all ages join "such a culturally significant" practice.

“We’ve always looked to our brothers and sisters in the northern parts of our country and i guess, yearned for it," he said. 

“A lot of us down south, we grow up in a place of identity where we’re too black to be white, and we're too white to be black."

Wiradjuri woman, Talara Freeman said that she has been dancing in corroborees since she was a little girl and told NITV News that she is now passionate about passing on the culture to her son and the next generation. 

Travelling from her home on the Central Coast, Ms Freeman said  it was inspiring to see a range of nations representing their Country at the Wagga event. 

"Some of the dances are rain dances," she said. 

"We do it to awaken the spirits to let mother earth know we're still there and taking care of her.

"I dance for my family, my Nyiwarri [partner] and my son.

"I've been dancing since i was a small child and now me and my three brothers are trying to teach the next generation, our kids," she said. 

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