CDC NSW Celebrates National Reconciliation Week 2024 in partnership with Blacktown City Council

In recognition of National Reconciliation Week 2024, staff from CDC NSW joined forces with Blacktown City Council to host an event highlighting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.

The wise words of Aunty Elaine captured the spirit of the event ‘We all have a shared history but we have to go on, we cannot live in the past!’

The celebration commenced with a moving Welcome to Country ceremony performed by Krystal Mervin, a Dharug woman from Western Sydney. This was followed by a traditional Smoking Ceremony and dance showcased by the Aboriginal cultural group, Yankay Cultural Connect.

Guests were treated to a taste of bush tucker cuisine prepared by the Muru Mittigar catering company, which specialises in native Australian foods and ingredients.

A highlight of the event was the CDC NSW Yaama bus, a mobile education centre designed to travel throughout NSW. The bus is fully equipped with Wi-Fi, meeting spaces, and interactive screens to educate communities about disability services.

Some attendees included the Mayor of Blacktown City, Councillor Brad Bunting, Auntie Elaine and Auntie Jenny representing the Baabayn Aboriginal Corporation and CDC NSW General Managers Rino Matarazzo Ravinder Singh and Evina Govender.

“This year’s theme, ‘Now More Than Ever’ supports Reconciliation and recognising the rich cultures of Australia’s First Peoples which is extremely important,” said Mr Matarazzo. “We were honoured to collaborate with Blacktown City Council and share these traditions with our staff and the local community.”

“We need to be able to understand their journey. The more we start listening, the better society we will be. Listen to the stories of the Elders,” said Mayor Brad Bunting of the Blacktown Council.

Auntie Elaine and Auntie Jenny from Baabayn expressed their joy, stating, “We feel privileged to share our culture with you.”

The event also included an acknowledgment of the former Mayor Tony Bleasdale, who sadly recently passed away.

The event aimed to promote greater understanding, respect, and unity between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians during National Reconciliation Week 2024.