• On Saturday 25th Feb from 10am to 4pm people will gather in Mt Druitt and say NO to ice. (NITV News)Source: NITV News
Baabayn Aboriginal Corporation says NO to ice with an organised event to build solidarity amongst the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities in Western Sydney, providing support against the use of Ice and other drugs.
By
Laura Morelli

24 Feb 2017 - 4:24 PM  UPDATED 24 Feb 2017 - 4:47 PM

Mt Druitt Says “NO” To Ice is a free, family friendly event that is set to kick off on 25 February and with free entry to the pool, food provided, deadly entertainment and more than 3000 people to attend, it’s bound to be a successful day.

Baabayn Aboriginal Corporation’s director, Jenny Ebsworth says there is currently an ice crisis and we need to support each other.

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What started out as just a bit of fun, soon turned into a rollercoaster ride of drugs, domestic violence and crime, but Dhungatti woman and former drug addict, Karen Syed now says no to ice.

“We live in a community where we’ve seen ice tear families apart, especially in our cooperation; we hear stories about people suffering first hand,” Jenny said.

“You see so many parents who have to kick their kids out because it’s too much for the family to carry. As aboriginal families we are family orientated, but there comes a point in people life where you can’t deal anymore because people are acting out.”

This year boasts an epic lineup of entertainment, from the likes of Archie Roach, Sean Choolburra, Rap for Change and the Deadly Dreaming Dancers. The family friendly event is being supported by Wentwest Primary Health Network and Blacktown City Council after they saw a huge success in Baabayn’s previous say no to ice day.

“It gives us a boost to know that were doing something for our community and helping them get set in the right path."

“We as Aboriginal elders want people to know that we are here to support them and make sure they know they’re not alone. This is also for the families to be able to cope. People want to isolate themselves because they’re embarrassed, but this is a crisis that’s affecting not only the Aboriginal community, but everyone,” Jenny said.

Another director from Baabayn Aboriginal Corporation, Margaret Farrell wants the community to know that they don’t have to go through anything alone.

“I think we need this event to be aware of what’s happening in our community and also to know there are services that really do help,” she said.

“It gives us a boost to know that were doing something for our community and helping them get set in the right path…

We want people to know that there are services out there and they can try and make a difference in their own life.”

Ngaimpe Aboriginal Corporation, The Glen, is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre, there mission is to help educate communities about the serious issues of drugs and they’re looking forward to being part of the event.

More than 15 people from The Glen will be attending the event and 10 male performers are set to steal the stage with four different cultural dances, be it a Welcome dance as well as a dreamtime performance.

Ed Daley says dancing plays a vital role in the recovery period, especially during his journey of keeping clean, he would dance when he needed to as it provided him with a different kind of release.

Now, Ed is a Councillor at The Glen and has not only experienced but also seen the first hand impact of ice. He says not only does it ruin your life, but it steals your soul.

“A lot of blokes come in here and one of the first things you ask them is ‘what has it taken from you’ … There answers range from family, kids, jobs, houses, relationships but most of all, it takes their soul – they don’t feel themselves anymore,” he said.

“So our aim is to try and provide an environment to help people get back on track. We show people how to live again. We teach cultural dances and give lectures to other communities and companies. We help get health back on track, eat better with a clean lifestyle and make them work with their head down. By the time they get through the 12 week period they get their confidence and self-esteem back again."

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