On Sunday thousands of Indigenous people from across Australia stood on their country and joined in a Nation Dance, a first nations people’s group dance in a show of support for unity between all Indigenous Nations.
In May 2018, Doolan began one of the most extensive walks Australia has ever known, from the northern tip of eastern Australia, through Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, and back up to Canberra to arrive on May 18 (election day), with a formal Welcome to Country ceremony by Ngunnawal Elders at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, on the lawns of Parliament House.
Throughout his journey, which he called the Message Stick Walk, he met with communities and Traditional Owners and talked about the importance of healing and treaty negotiations. The Message Stick is an ancient communication tool that has been utilised in Aboriginal culture for millennia.
Message Sticks symbolise communication, each Stick telling a story. In traditional culture, certain individuals would be given the task of delivering messages to other tribes, relating to trading, sorry business or creating partnerships.
The three Message Sticks Alwyn Doolan delivered to Canberra specifically represent three stages of Australia’s story: creation, colonisation and healing.
For the first time in history a call was sent out to all First Nations People to dance on country as one in time.
In Lismore a group of over 50 Indigenous people came together to celebrate the dance.
Sarah Bolt, is an artist, dancer and teacher and an active Indigenous community member in Lismore who is a strong advocate for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women.
Ms Bolt says that Indigenous dancers from the Northern Rivers joined the Lismore mob on Sunday.
‘The sisters from Bunyarra and brother Dhinawan came and danced with us,’ she said. ‘The dance performance included community members from other clans from Casino, and Yaegl, Wiradjuri and Widjabul dancers.
Dance for our people
Dance for our land
Dance for our trauma
Dance for our justice
Dance for our children
Dance for our creator.