The Wetlands Centre Cockburn has recently hosted a series of cultural events aimed at promoting cultural understanding, education, and unity. These events have provided an enriching experience for participants, fostering cross-cultural communication and appreciation. This article highlights four remarkable events that took place at the Centre in the past month, showcasing their significance and impact on the community.
Through these events, the Centre has created a platform for fostering dialogue, learning, and connection among diverse communities. These events have left a lasting impact on participants, reinforcing the significance of cultural diversity and the need for ongoing support and engagement.
(1) Cultural Education Program (CEP) —
The Cultural Education Program held at The Wetlands Centre was a transformative workshop designed to enhance cultural competence. Led by experienced educators, including Aunty Marie Taylor, Robyn Collard, Dylan Collard, and Toby, this program provided participants with a deeper understanding of Aboriginal culture and effective cross-cultural communication skills. The CEP focused on developing positive attitudes towards cultural differences, gaining knowledge of different cultural practices and worldviews, and promoting skills for interaction across cultures. The expertise of the facilitators, particularly Nyungar Elder Aunty Marie Taylor, elevated the program and made it a valuable learning experience for all participants.
(2) Walbariny Yorgas with Chelsey Thomson —
The Women's Circle and Healing Program, led by Chelsey Thomson, invited women to come together for a healing experience at the Centre’s amphitheatre. This by invitation only event provided a safe space for women, Aboriginal as well as non-Aboriginal women, to connect, share their stories, and support one another. The program offered a nurturing environment where participants could explore cultural teachings and practices specific to women's well-being. Through this event, women had the opportunity to foster personal growth and empowerment. And also share in a delicious meal of bush tucker—hearty kangaroo stew, mouth-watering berry jam, and fluffy damper.
(4) Culture Keepers: National Reconciliation Week Event —
The Wetlands Centre organised a special event to commemorate National Reconciliation Week. The event featured Elder Gerrard Shaw sharing his Stolen Generation experiences, allowing participants to gain a firsthand understanding of the challenges faced by Aboriginal people. Aunty Marie Taylor guided a cultural walk and talk, providing insights into the Aboriginal values associated with Walliabup (Bibra Lake). Additionally, various stalls showcased bush medicine, bush tucker, Nyungar language and storytelling, and Aboriginal tool making and art. This event celebrated unity, reconciliation, and cultural diversity, fostering a sense of appreciation and respect for Aboriginal culture.
(5) Indigenous Voice to Parliament: Josh Wilson MP & Thomas Mayor —
The Wetlands Centre hosted an event organised by Josh Wilson MP focused on the Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum. Aunty Marie and Thomas Mayor were among the speakers who advocated for voting yes in the referendum. The event aimed to create a platform for discussion and engagement on this important topic. The presence of influential figures, including political representatives like David Scaife MLA, Lisa O'Malley MLA, Sam Kim MP, and Counsellor Chontelle Stone, enhanced the vibrancy and impact of the event. Rabble Books and Games (Maylands) were present on-site and supported the sale of relevant books including Thomas Mayor’s book on the subject. The gathering provided attendees with valuable insights into the significance of the Indigenous Voice and the need for unity and support.
The vibrant tapestry of cultural events hosted at The Wetlands Centre has fostered a spirit of cultural learning, reconciliation and connection to our first nations heritage. These remarkable gatherings have transcended barriers, bringing people from different backgrounds together in a shared celebration of diversity. By providing a platform for dialogue, connection, and appreciation, these events have transcended boundaries and fostered a deeper understanding of the intricate relationship between culture and our environment, the interconnectedness of which aboriginal elders have taught and practised for thousands of years.