Gumbaynggirr language and dreamtime stories were the focus of NAIDOC celebrations in Bellingen Shire today (Thursday).
A small crowd, which gathered at Maam Gadyung Meeting Place Park in the heart of Bellingen, was treated to songs sung by language students in Gumbaynggirr under the passionate guidance of much-loved teacher Michael Jarrett.
The name of the group, Gunganbuwala, means ‘Let’s be Friends’, which is what the spirit of NAIDOC is all about.
With Gumbaynggirr language spoken in the home, Michael’s son Malachai did the ‘Welcome to Country’.
“It is my hope that children start speaking our language as children, so that they grow up with it and are fluent … connecting them to this country,” Michael said.
Up at Dorrigo Library a school holiday craft day took Dreamtime stories and animals as the inspiration for colourful carding and drawings.
Children were kept busy winding yarns around cardboard templates to create their own Dreamtime spirits, while others played with pencils and crayons.
Librarian Lousie Fazio said the turnout was one of the biggest she had seen and from the noise levels, clearly all the participants were having fun.
We wish you all a happy NAIDOC!