The Smoking Ceremony will be led by Senior Aboriginal leaders Major Sumner and Rosemary Wanganeen and will be held in Elder Park (Tarntanya) at 7 am on the 26th of January.
Smoking ceremonies are an ancient Aboriginal custom where native plants are burnt to produce smoke which pays respects to the land and the sea and acknowledges the ancestors. The smoke is believed to have healing and cleansing properties as well as the ability to ward off bad spirits and to bring hope and wellbeing to the future.
The ceremony is traditionally performed by elders at major events - it symbolises the strong connection that Aboriginal people have had with the land over the past 60,000 years. The music and dancing at traditional ceremonies such as this help to pass down the rich cultural knowledge to the future generations.
"We can't change people's minds, but we have a responsibility to introduce the concept of Grief and Forgiveness for all on this day. It's a healing process with an emotional experience. To grieve is to heal, to forgive is to empower oneself to learn about our Australian history through forgiveness. Walk these brave vital steps with us to begin healing our country, to embrace our differences for true reconciliation between us". - Rosemary Wanganeen
While in Elder Park over the Australia Day long weekend, be sure to check out Kumangka Mukapainga Tampinga - a very special art installation which is free to view from the 24th through to the 28th of January.