Smoking Ceremony To Be Held At Council’s Welsford St Offices

Breaking down barriers


Article heading image for Smoking Ceremony To Be Held At Council’s Welsford St Offices

Aunty Ella Anselmi will conduct a traditional smoking ceremony to cleanse Greater Shepparton City Council’s Welsford Street Offices on Tuesday 24 September.

Council understands the Council Offices have been built on a site of Aboriginal cultural significance.

Council’s Reconciliation Action Plan, which was adopted at the June Ordinary Council Meeting, has a strong focus on truth telling.

Having the offices on a significant site can be a painful and distressing barrier for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in ourBreak region.

The goal of the smoking ceremony is to acknowledge the truth of the site and ward off any bad spirits, and hopefully create a more welcoming environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and visitors.

Aunty Ella will work her way through a large portion of the building and around the exterior.

A plaque will also be placed at the front of the building to acknowledge the significance and importance of the site.

“I encourage everyone to reflect upon the significance of this ceremony,” Council Mayor Kim O’Keeffe said.

“Truth telling is such an important part of Council’s Reconciliation Action Plan and we want to continue that movement.

“We know smoking this building may not cure all the pain and distress felt by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in our region towards the building, but we want to continue to make an effort in breaking down barriers.”

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23 September 2019




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