An online movement has become one of the largest coordinated expressions of culture as hundreds of Indigenous people across the nation danced on their Countries as one in a sign of solidarity.
The ‘Nation Dance’ movement called on all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nations to simultaneously share live videos of their ancestral dances with the world-wide web on Sunday.
Coordinated by Gooreng Gooreng and Wakka Wakka man Alwyn Doolan - who walked from Cape York in Queensland to Parliament House in Canberra, with the intention to empower First Nations People – the event was all about “uplifting community”.
“[The movement] is about uplifting our songlines, our rivers, our creations, our creators, our trauma, especially with the tragedy that is happening with all the bushfires down in New South Wales even up the coast in Queensland as well,” he said in a Facebook video prior to the event.
“[Let’s] all dance at one time on this great continent we call our land.”
The message was heard far and wide with over 100 nations known to have taken part in the movement.
Port Macquarie takes part
In Port Macquarie, Birpai woman and dancer Rhonda Radley, as well as Birpai man and dancer Jamie Donavon, coordinated the dances and gathering. Ms Radley told NITV News around 150 dancers and 250 bystanders headed to Town Beach to participate.
“It was a pretty big event for Port Macquarie,” said Ms Radley. “We were all pleasantly surprised with the turnout because we only had about three days to organize it.”
“Everyone was really taken aback by the support of all the local Aboriginal community coming together.”
The event was of significant importance to the Birpai community as it saw, for the first time, all Aboriginal people visiting and living in the area come together, said Ms Radley.
“It was the first time where other nations’ people living off country on Birpai land have come together and participated in a dance,” she said.
“It is actually all about people wanting to participate in a cultural event that brings all nations people together and honoring the land, ourselves and each other.”
But for Ms Radley, the most significant moment of the day was seeing the younger generations get themselves involved.
“What really made my heart sing was all the little ones, the babies, you can see that cultural pride shining through them,” she said. “I am excited about the upcoming generations and their love for culture.”
Ms Radley said she hopes the event can become an annual gathering.