Wunya (Welcome) Baby & Child to Country Ceremony.

On Saturday 12th November the inaugural Wunya Baby & Child to Country Ceremony was held at Koobara Kindy. There were 14 Babies and 34 Children registered for the cultural event, with over 200 people in attendance to witness the Babies and Children from Zillmere, Taigum, Fitzgibbon and surrounding areas being Welcomed onto Yuggera and Turrbal Country.

We would like to thank Yuggera Elder Aunty Debbie Sandy, Turrbal Elders Uncle Joe Kirk and Uncle Alex Davidson for Welcoming the Babies and Children onto Country. We would also like to acknowledge Aunty Maroochy Barambah, who was unable to make it on the day.

Collaborative Partners, Kurbingui, Koobara and Mercy Community, would like to thank the Cages Foundation for providing funding for this special day. We would also like to thank our sponsors, the many volunteers, the staff members from each organisation that worked tirelessly in the weeks leading up to the ceremony and to everyone that made this event possible.

Thank you to the stallholders for giving up their Saturday to offer information about their programs and services to families and for providing cultural activities for the Jarjums: Act for Kids, C&K, Jabiru Community Engagement, Indigenous Insights, Goodstart Early Learning Virginia, First Five Forever, ATSICHS, KU Inclusion Support, Griffith University, Milestones Early Learning Centres, Metro North Perinatal and Infant Mental Health, NDIS, Kurbingui, Mercy Community, Koobara and the Department of Education (Early Childhood Education and Care), who supported this project from inception to fruition.

We would like to extend our gratitude to both Elwyn Henaway from Doongalla Dance Troupe and Aunty Sharron Mirii Bell from Indigenous Insights for the memorable experiences they provided the Children and their families. Elwyn taught the children how to play their Clap Sticks and Aunty Sharron shared a fun, informative and interactive presentation that took Children and families on a cultural song and dance journey.

We would also like to thank all of our amazing sponsors: Jared Cassidy, Councillor Sandy Landers, Kids Capers Childcare, First Five Forever, Boss Boxing, Jabiru Community Engagement, Uniting In Home Care, Mercy Community, Costco, Coles Aspley Robertson Road and Brisbane City Council. Without their support and kind donations we would not have been able to add all the extras to bring this special event together.

A special thank you the Moreton Bay Welcome Baby & Child to Country Working Group for permission to use their logo and Jhana Gray’s artwork. We would also like to extend our thanks to the Elders from Kurbingui Northside Elders Group, Elders in attendance at the Ceremony from Zillmere, Taigum, Fitzgibbon and surrounding areas and Holy Spirit College for allowing families and community to use their car park.

Last but not least, a big thank you to Aunty Deb Jackson, the parents, families and volunteers that attended the Head Band and Clap Stick decorating workshops. These workshops, which were held at Koobara for the 5 weeks leading up to the event, provided an opportunity for families to come together to prepare the cultural gifts for their children. These workshops would not have been possible without Aunty Deb Jackson and the many generous volunteers who cared for the Jarjums whilst the parents and families let their cultural artistic skills flow.

…and finally, thank you, thank you, thank you to all involved. We look forward to holding more cultural events that immerse and protect our deadly Jarjums within their first 2000 days, and surround their families with culture and support from the community where they live, work and play. Together we can foster a future where our Babies, Children and their families flourish and thrive, strong in culture and identity.