Good spirits of Ballardong ancestors called on to watch over Toodyay’s new pool
Ballardong Elder Charmaine Miles delivers a “Welcome to Country” as local Labor MP Darren West watches on at last month’s official opening of Toodyay’s new $14 million recreation centre and pool.
Welcome to Country
IT’S A GREAT privilege to represent my people and my culture on this very important day.
I thank the Shire of Toodyay for inviting me here to say a few words and to welcome you all ‘to country’.
I’m a Ballardong woman, I speak the Ballardong language and I continue to connect with my culture on so many levels.Read more
I’m also a member of the Toodyay family, which I’m very proud to say.
To bring traditional meaning to such an occasion, I would like to say a few words in language and then speak in English.
Kya wandjo djiba wari kwadak ngyn wakkining mooditj wirn – hello and welcome to this beautiful swimming pool.
I call on the good spirits of my ancestors to allow safe passage and enjoyment to this place.
I would like to pay deep respect to my elders both past and present.
A long time ago Aboriginal people walked this land, up and down the Avon valley, hunting, fishing, swimming and gathering food from this beautiful place we call Dudja or place of mist.
This land has significant meaning to many Aboriginal families because we don’t own the land – we belong to the land for the land is our mother.
Ballardong boodja is the traditional and ancient homeland of my people, being the true custodians and cultural keepers of the land on which we are meeting today.
That in itself should always be respected.
I thank you for listening and acknowledging my welcome to you on behalf of my people.
I leave you with this: Nitja Ballardong, boodja noonak yaakin – this is Ballardong land on which you are standing.