17.6 C
Byron Shire
April 22, 2024

Aboriginal elders share their stories

Latest News

Cockroach climate

The cockroaches in the Byron Council offices are experiencing bright daylight at night. They are trying to determine whether...

Other News

Wallum urban development back in court

The company behind the Wallum housing development in Brunswick Heads is once again taking Byron Council to court, this time for allegedly holding up its planned earthworks at the site in an unlawful manner.

Free healthy lifestyle program for families

Go4Fun is a free 10-week after-school program for children aged 7-13 and their families, which aims to support their health and wellbeing.

REDinc’s new Performing Arts Centre is go!

It’s been a long wait, but two years on from the 2022 flood REDinc in Lismore have announced the official opening of a new Performing Arts Centre.

Infrastructure for east end of Mullum

Mullumbimby was founded 135 years ago. In the 1960s sewerage was introduced, as was I suppose drainage infrastructure. Are...

Grand opening in Casino on Saturday

Richmond Valley Council says the upgraded Casino Showground and Racecourse will be a major hub for events in regional NSW, with a focus on horse-related activities.

Funds sought to complete clubhouse

Byron Bay Football Club may finally get the funds to complete its new clubhouse, with Byron councillors to consider loaning the club $200,000 at this week’s meeting.

IMG_1233
Bundjalung elder Mickey Ryan with the Elders Spinning Yarns book.

Darren Coyne

Some stories are worth sharing; for now and the future.

In a project organised by the North Coast Institute of TAFE, 21 Aboriginal elders from throughout the Bundjalung nation were brought together over a 20-week period to share stories of their life, culture and history.

At a ceremony at the Wollongbar campus yesterday, they saw the result of their effort for the first time, in a book called Elders Spinning Yarns, which will now be shared with local schools and libraries.

Bundjalung elder Mickey Ryan of North Lismore told Echonetdaily how he had been proud to share memories about the river in Lismore, and how Aboriginal people depended on it for food in the lean times.

He was delighted to open the book for the first time to find not only his story, but also photographs of his mother, his grandmother, and great-grandmother.

‘Old Topsy Brown was my great-gran’s mother, and she was connected to that area (North Lismore plateau, which is now subject to major development plans).

No book launch is complete without a welcome to country and a smoking ceremony.
No book launch is complete without a welcome to country and a smoking ceremony.

Midginbil elder Athol Compton, a representative of the Tweed-Byron Aboriginal Land Council, shared a love story for the project.

‘I love sharing stories and often go to schools. I chose this love story because it was one I liked as a child,’ he said.

Other elders from Tweed, Lismore, Casino and Coraki attended yesterday’s launch, which began with a welcome to country by Auntie Dorrie Roberts, a smoking ceremony, and songs led by Burrel Jakamarra Didge and Robert Corowa.

Burrel shared a song sung in ancient times when the bunya nuts were formed.

The song, he said, would travel on the wind and neighbouring tribes would begin gathering their own local produce and come together for a feast.

The nuts, and the song, would be taken back to other tribal areas for those unable to make the journey.

Likewise, Aunty Marie Delbridge of Lismore said the stories in the book would be shared widely.

‘This is great. It’s the first time that something like this has happened and now we want to share more of our life stories,’ she said.

Editor Dale Roberts said the project had started a year ago with groups meeting in Kingscliff and Lismore.

‘At the end of it we had just four weeks to finish it but it came together, and if the elders are happy, I’m happy,’ she said.

TAFE’s Aboriginal vocational initiatives consultant Sharon Taylor said the initiative would enhance sharing, connect families and the community.

‘There were a number of anticipated outcomes from this project that will benefit the community, such as the documentation of Indigenous history for local and educational purposes, establishing connections with relevant community groups, and very importantly pass down cultural history to younger generations,’ she said.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

4 COMMENTS

  1. What a wonderful project. Such rich tradition and important knowledge needs to be both acknowledged and preserved for younger generations. Every now and then something truly wonderful happens; this is one of those occasions.

  2. What a great project! I would love to purchase a copy of this book. I no longer live in Brunswick Heads, but feel very connected to the area and would greatly enjoy reading this history!

  3. Where can I get a copy of the book – I live in Victoria – I tell my children about our family – so I would love for them to read more about it. (and so would I.)

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

A grim commemoration

US President Jo Biden, responding to a question, made the comment that the US is considering the dropping of the prosecution of Julian Assange. How...

Infrastructure for east end of Mullum

Mullumbimby was founded 135 years ago. In the 1960s sewerage was introduced, as was I suppose drainage infrastructure. Are we living in the 1920s...

Save Wallum now

The Save Wallum campaign has been ongoing and a strong presence of concerned conservationists are on site at Brunswick Heads. How the state planning...

Can Council’s overturn their decisions?

NSW Labor planning minister, Paul Scully, when asked about the Wallum estate by local MP Tamara Smith (Greens)  in parliament on March 20, said,...