• Aboriginal and Maori culture have been combined to pay tribute to the Indigenous soldiers from both countries. (NITV)
Two sacred dances have been used to commemorate Indigenous soldiers.
By
Rangi Hirini

Source:
NITV News
25 Apr 2019 - 3:30 PM  UPDATED 25 Apr 2019 - 3:43 PM

Performers have once again paid tribute to the sacrifices of Indigenous soldiers by combining an Aboriginal corroborree and Māori Haka at Perth's Anzac Day dawn service.

Hundreds of people watched the rousing half-hour performance after a solemn formal ceremony at WA's State War Memorial.

The Haka for Life and Corroboree for Life groups first combined the dances last year and hope it becomes an annual tradition.

Organisers said this year's performance also aimed to showcase traditional culture and raise awareness about suicide prevention.

“What we really stand for is choosing life, it doesn’t work for me anymore that our people are suffering in silence,” Corroboree for Life founder Ash Penfold told the crowd. 

“We are here not just to honour our Anzacs but to raise awareness and recognition for our people on a cultural platform. Our culture is beautiful. We’re one of the oldest in the world and we get to share that.” 

Wiradjuri dancer Bradley Barbuto, who played a central part in the performance, said he was personally invested because of his family's history of military service.  

“My uncles all served and my grandfathers on both sides of the family served in the wars, so it’s a massive honour for me to get this role,” he told NITV.

“You can't help but connect to country and the ancestors all come down, even last night we did a last minute rehearsal while the sun was going down.”  

Haka for Life founder Leon Ruri said he was proud to share the Indigenous cultures two countries.

“When we talk about the Anzac spirit, it starts with the first people and First Nations’ people of each land,” Mr Ruri told NITV. 

“We’ve got such a wonderful relationship between Australia and New Zealand and we’ve got two incredibly beautiful Indigenous cultures that really love to express themselves.” 

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