A small Indigenous-owned tourism company was delighted to perform a Welcome to Country ceremony for none other than US actor Will Smith earlier this week.
In a ‘selfie’ shared on the award-winning actor’s Facebook account, it featured himself and Aunty Margret Campbell grinning from ear-to-ear.
The caption read: “Spent the afternoon with Aunty Marg (Aboriginal Elder). We were blessed with a Traditional Welcome To Country Ceremony!”
Mr Smith has 74 million followers on Facebook alone, which on top of meeting him, meant a very good promotion for Aunty Marg’s small business.
“It was amazing to meet Mr Smith and his entourage,” Aunty Marg told NITV News.
“I was very lucky I was asked to meet Mr Smith and share some of my Sunrise Dunghutti and Jerrinjah Saltwater Whale Dreaming and Sandstone cultural knowledge backed up by two of my family’s ceremony practices.”
Aunty Marg said she found Mr Smith to be not at all like the actor in blockbuster movies, stories, and images.
“Mr Smith was extremely respectful - genuine in his courtesy toward me as an Elder woman, referring to me as Aunty Margret upon meeting me, and as a member of the First Peoples of down-under lands, waters and skies,” she said.
Aunty Marg when she was first asked to perform a Welcome to Country ceremony for ‘a VIP visiting Sydney’, she had no idea who it would be.
“I had about an hour before I actually worked out who it was,” she said.
“So I was surprised and happy, as I too am a fan of Mr Smith.”
Aside from meeting the award-winning actor, she was very excited that her small business was chosen for the momentous occasion.
“Dreamtime Southern X is not a Government-owned Aboriginal culture business,” she said.
“It is one of NSW Aboriginal Tourism's Champions, it is [a] one hundred per cent Aboriginal-owned small struggling tour operator business in Sydney.”
“My agent shared my history and that my business is all [about] the oldest human culture on the Planet Earth today.”
She was also able to teach Mr Smith about our connection to country, and our ancestors.
“I certainly shared how, when, where to connect with our ancestral Custodians on a daily basis, especially in a city environment.”
“And how Custodians communicate without [a] voice and how we mere humans believe the only way to communicate with each other is by words from the mouth or words on a piece of paper.”
Aunty Marg was not able to comment on whether or not Mr Smith was hoping to delve more into Aboriginal culture during his visit to Australia.