It was a moving start to NAIDOC Week 2019 as community members gathered to celebrate and commemorate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within the Shire of Mundaring on Monday.
Performing a Welcome to Country ceremony before addressing the crowd, Senior Whadjuk Yok, Cindy Nelson, spoke of the importance of this year's NAIDOC theme, "Voice. Treaty. Truth'. Let's work together for a shared future".
The theme acknowledges the reforms set out in the Uluru Statement from the Heart that represent the unified position of First Nations Australians.
Ms Nelson then joined Deputy Shire President, Cr Lynn Fisher; Mundaring Scout Group member, Baeden, and Senior Administration Officer with V Swans, Cheryl Thomas, in raising Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags outside the shire offices.
Cr Fisher spoke of the significance of the community coming together to pay its respect to country while learning about, acknowledging and celebrating the Shire's Indigenous story.
"Indigenous stories, their voices, their truths need to be told, heard and acknowledged so we can work together towards reconciliation," she said.
Cr Fisher added that it was widely believed that the Noongar Aboriginal people were the first people to arrive in our hills community.
"They named our Shire based on its distinct geographical features," she explained. "Mundaring is an Aboriginal word which means 'on a high place' or 'the place of the grass tree leaves.
"Celebrating NAIDOC Week aligns to our values which recognise the contribution Aboriginal people bring to the workplace and the local community."
A modern take on bush tucker – including scrumptious lemon myrtle and blueberry muffins prepared by students from Eastern Hills Senior High School – and weaving, rock painting and other cultural art activities (facilitated by our Midvale Hub Parenting Service team) were enjoyed after the formal events.