Our stall at the Wan’diny NAIDOC Family Fun Day at Quota Park, Nambour 2022 was a hit, attracting many visitors and generating fascinating discussions. The activity at our stall involved using a large AIATSIS map of Indigenous Australia to find the Country that visitors identified with. We had laminated leaf and bark pendants upon which people could write their Country and proudly wear as necklaces.
There were lots of Indigenous people who came to find their mob, discovered new connections with other parts of their families or just discovered who that mob was and who they’d had relatives tell them about. This was great learning for Indigenous children – parents explaining who dad’s mob was, and where grandma was born etc. We heard sad stories about dispossession and removals, for instance, one visitor told us how she and her mother had been taken from the Pilbara to Perth, and then she had been ‘given’ to a white family in Melbourne. She has since reconnected with her family on Nyangumarda land in north west WA.
We learnt who the Kulin mob was from a man and his dad who had been researching the removal of 5 tribes from the Melbourne area to Coranderrk. We had people identifying their roots from all down the east coast, NT and Central Australia, WA and Tasmania.
We also had people identifiying alternate spellings and discussing omissions from the map.
Many non-Indigenous people also participated to teach their children about the Country and whose Country they lived on.