Celebrating Indigenous heritage

Article image - Celebrating Indigenous heritage Local Aboriginal leader Denis Rose (pictured on Tyrendarra Lava Flow) is profiled as part of a new documentary. Photo courtesy of Peter Corbett.

Glenelg Shire, Victoria, celebrated National Reconciliation Week in 2018 by shedding light on the region’s rich aboriginal culture, with the release of the first ever documentary dedicated to the Shire’s local Indigenous history.

Demystifying History – Indigenous Culture in the Glenelg Shire provided a detailed insight into the region’s cultural identity from local aboriginal leaders and elders.

Mayor, Anita Rank, said the documentary would help to better educate the community and promote the message of ongoing reconciliation.

“The documentary, filmed and produced by local filmmakers, features interviews with aboriginal leaders and elders telling stories about their past and reflecting on the events that have shaped our region. It provides a fascinating glimpse into the moments that have defined our shire, moments which many members of the community may not have been aware of.

“Demystifying History has now been shared more than 160 times across social media and private screenings have also taken place across schools and community groups, ensuring that the important stories behind this documentary are recognised and retold.”

The Shire’s celebrations featured another first, with a Citizenship Ceremony taking place during the week of events. Newest citizens were conferred with a gift of a message stick and a personal welcome from local aboriginal leaders and elders.

The Mayor said feedback received from the ceremony was overwhelmingly positive, with plans underway to once again include the event during next year’s celebrations.

“Every year we reflect on how we can improve our reconciliation efforts, both within our community and at a national level, discussing a diverse range of initiatives,” she said.

“The Citizenship Ceremony was a simple, yet powerful approach to allow our traditional owners to share their culture with our newest residents in an intimate setting. It will be just one of many steps of the ongoing path to reconciliation.”