Castlemaine Vigil in Recognition of Aboriginal Sovereignty and in Solidarity with Refugees.1st-6th September.
On Friday the 30th of August Jaara Descendent and Elder Rick Nelson raised the Aboriginal flag PERMANENTLY over Castlemaine.
Local Torres Strait Islander Elder Uncle Phil raised the Torres Strait Islander Flag PERMANENTLY also.
Work on getting the council to fly the flags began in the 1990’s and it has finally occurred.
Gratitude must go to many – many I do not know of but include Rick Nelson, Uncle Phil, Uncle Brien Nelson, Aunty Carmel and Vic and Felicity Say.
Speaking after the flag raising Vic Say importantly acknowledged both Rick and Uncle Phil’s ‘generosity of spirit’.
Children from the Meeting Place danced beautifully and proudly as Rick smoked the flags. I was so glad to be present – along with the 200 others who came along in respect and celebration.
It is so much lighter on the Market Building steps these evenings compared with when I started this vigil.
So far there have been few people stop by but lots of people coming in to the Art Show happening inside the Market Building. I am sitting with S – who has finally returned to sit with me after being turned off by some over-zealous-fixer-lefties! I am so happy to be sitting with him again. Sitting and watching together. Sitting and listening.
The people arriving for the Art show – both young and old – are dressed immaculately in suits and expensive looking dresses. One man has come up to us and asked “is this Jaara country?” – pointing at my sign. “Yes, this is Jaara country”, I say, smile. “Thank you”, he says.
“Before we go in …”, he says to the woman with him. “I just want to ….” He takes out a piece of paper – looks like a speech to me – from his briefcase and proceeds to write something at the top of the paper … looks like he’s writing ‘Jaara people’ or is is ‘Jaara country’? I can see the word Jaara.
I wonder… is he going to acknowledge Jaara people and country as part of his opening speech?
S and I wonder, sit.
I send love to this country. I send love to those fearing what will happen to them after this coming election.