Blackbutt Art Gallery treasurer Val McGrath chats with Aunty Flo Watson, from Reconciliation Queensland, at Blackbutt’s first Reconciliation Week family fun day

June 17, 2018

Blackbutt ran its first-ever Reconciliation Week celebration recently, and now organisers hope to make it an annual event.

Reconciliation Week is celebrated nationwide to mark two significant events in Australian history:  The successful 1967 referendum (May 27) and the High Court Mabo decision (June 3).

The idea for a Reconciliation Week function in the Timber Towns was developed by Blackbutt Art Gallery treasurer Val McGrath, an Indigenous community member.

Val quickly gained support for the concept, and within weeks had arranged a free family fun day at Blackbutt’s Memorial Hall that featured live music, art and craft displays, dancing, games for children and demonstrations.

Cherbourg Mayor Arnold Murray opened the day’s events with a Welcome To Country, and Aunty Flo Watson, from Reconciliation Queensland, also paid a visit to wish the new event well.

About 80 people attended the get-together during the course of the day, and Val said she was pleased with the result given the short time available to organise it.

She also thanked the many volunteers who had pitched in to lend a hand, as well as the musicians, performers and artists who came on board.

South Burnett Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff and Cherbourg Mayor Arnold Murray admired the art displays set up in Blackbutt’s Memorial Hall
Wayne Browning and the members of the Taromeo Country Music Club provided live music during the day
Bibi and Natalia Phillips-Petersen, from ‘Tribal Sisters,’ danced for the crowd
South Burnett artist Robyn Dower gave hands-on demonstrations showing how to make papier-mache sculptures, and also brought along a completed chicken to show the end result

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