Ancient ceremony makes a welcome return


Picture: Yanni

YOUNG Aboriginal children participated in a ceremony at Rosebud last Wednesday that has not been held on the Mornington Peninsula for hundreds of years.

The Welcome Bubup [baby] to Country ceremony at the Rosebud Southern Peninsula Arts Centre was attended by more than 70 parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, children and guests.

Families walked through sacred smoke and were welcomed onto country by Boon Wurrung elder N’arweet Carolyn Briggs. This was followed by a ceremonial dance and didgeridoo performance.

Each child was painted with ochre and presented with a certificate and cultural gift.

Deb Mellett, Mornington Peninsula Shire’s Koolin Balit Aboriginal health coordinator, said the aim of the welcome “bubup” to country ceremony “is about connecting our families to culture and community, to rebuild confidence and pride about who we are”.

“There is research evidence relating to the importance of culture and our overall wellbeing. The more we learn and practice culture, the health outcomes of our people improve and yesterday was a wonderful example of this,” Ms Mellett said.

“This event created a positive cultural experience for all the families who attended.”

Ms Mellett said the “significant event” was the first time since European settlement that the ceremony has been performed on the peninsula, (Boon wurrung/Bunurong country).

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 3 October 2017


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