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Kingaroy Joins NAIDOC Celebrations

Filed under Breaking News, Council, Latest News, Media Gallery

Three of the young Wakka Gubbi dancers from Cherbourg ... Lewis Hopkins Jnr, 8; Kendall Murray, 7; and William Murray, 6

July 7, 2017

Kingaroy’s NAIDOC Week celebrations on Thursday morning were so popular that South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell has said it could well become an annual event.

This is the first time NAIDOC has been marked in a big way in Kingaroy for many years and the event attracted a good crowd of onlookers eager to take part.

There was Indigenous face-painting, art, talks and other children’s activities in the Town Hall Forecourt and adjacent Kingaroy Library.

The morning started with a traditional smoking ceremony conducted by Eric Blair, from Cherbourg, designed to cleanse participants and settle bad spirits.

Pastor Steve Nixon, from the Kingaroy Church of Christ, also blessed the morning with a prayer.

Cherbourg Mayor Arnold Murray conducted the Welcome To Country and led a minute’s silence.

The Wakka Gubbi dancers performed six of their popular dances to great applause, accompanied by singing, didgeridoo and clapsticks.

South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell told the crowd the morning was a great opportunity to understand and celebrate the culture of the Wakka Wakka people.

Speaking afterwards, he said the event had been busy and he was really pleased with the turnout. He said it could well become an annual event.

After the NAIDOC activities wound down, Cherbourg and South Burnett councillors adjourned to the Kingaroy Council Chamber to hold a joint meeting to discuss issues that affect both councils.

Sharing culture and enjoying NAIDOC in Kingaroy ... Cherbourg Mayor Arnold Murray and South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell

The aroma of burning gum leaves filled the forecourt ... Eric Blair performed a cleansing smoking ceremony, sharing the blessing from the burning leaves with every onlooker

Eric Blair, Cr Ros Heit, Cr Roz Frohloff, didgeridoo musician Bowman Button, Charlie Bond and South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell

Uncle Norm Hegarty, who led a Dreamtime Storytelling session for children in the Kingaroy Library, took a break to share a yarn with the crowd ... Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff, who is the Indigenous Portfolio holder at the South Burnett Regional Council, compered the morning

Nanango artist Anthony Donas, who was demonstrating Indigenous art; Cherbourg Mayor Arnold Murray, and Danielle Leedie, from Kingaroy, who was doing Indigenous face-painting

South Burnett Regional Council CEO Gary Wall and Cherbourg Council CFO Chatursinh Zala

Cr James Saltner (Cherbourg), Cr Danita Potter (SBRC), Cr Tom Langton (Cherbourg) and Cr Ros Heit (SBRC)

The Wakka Gubbi dancers performed in the centre of the forecourt, with a large crowd snapping photographs and clapping at the end of each dance


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