Acknowledging the past and looking to the future this Australia Day

Published on 18 January 2023


Moyne Shire Council will host two events that will acknowledge the past and look to the future on Australia Day.

Mayor Cr Karen Foster noted Australia Day is a difficult day for many Indigenous Australians and Council has been mindful of that when planning these events.

“We have worked closely with local Elders and the local Indigenous community to ensure we are taking an appropriate approach which takes into account how difficult this day can be for our First Nation’s people,” she said.

“We will start the day with Ngootyoong Laka, Ngootyoong Yana – which translates from Peek Whurrong to ‘walking and talking with respect’ – at the Indigenous Massacres Memorial at Port Fairy’s Railway Place from 8.30am.

“This event will involve a smoking ceremony and welcome from Gunditjmara/Kirrae Whurrong man Brett Clarke with Peek Whurrong Elder Uncle Rob Lowe Snr sharing stories about the experiences of Indigenous people in our recent history.

“The memorial, which was unveiled in 2011 is one of only a few in Australia that recognise the Massacres of Indigenous people. This will be a reflective way to start the day and the title really highlights what we are trying to achieve – moving forward together with respect and I invite the community to come along.”

Cr Foster said it was the first time Moyne had hosted an event like this and she was proud Council was taking positive steps towards understanding and reconciliation.

Following the Ngootyoong Laka, Ngootyoong Yana event, the community is invited to gather at Koroit’s Village Green Stage from 10.30am for the remainder of the day’s formalities.

Cr Foster said that event would feature a Welcome to Country from Brett Clarke, a Citizenship Ceremony for five new citizens, presentation of Councils’ Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year and Community Event of the Year awards as well as an address from the Mayor’s Australia Day Ambassador, Shane Howard AM.

“It will also have a free sausage sizzle, giveaways and live music to round out the day,” she said.

“I want to thank Uncle Rob, Brett, Shane and Council staff for helping develop a program that acknowledges the past while looking forward to a respectful future together.”

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