Australia Day, 2019

Urunga

Urunga where the Kalang and Bellinger meet the sea

Robert Canning had blessed the site at sunrise with a smoking ceremony and welcomed us with humour and hope.

Robert Canning welcoming us to country

He welcomed us all to country: ‘What we’re going to try to do today is bring everyone together as one. So it’s not just 231 years but 60,231 years.’

A minute’s silence

The crowd respected a minute’s silence to remember and respect all those Aboriginal people who have lost their lives, culture and identity from colonisation.

Last year I was in Sydney for Australia Day at the Redfern march where the speakers were in a very different mood and adamant that January 26 should NOT be celebrated.

Australia Day, 2018, Redfern march

Coffs Harbour

Uncle Mark Flanders

Uncle Mark Flanders gave an impassioned welcome to country with a description of the boundaries of Gumbaynggirr country and invited us all into the smoke to be cleansed.

and at a BBQ lunch later we had two onlookers: