The Eden Koori Dance Group performed an array of traditional Aboriginal dances for staff, students and parents at local schools on Friday, as part of NAIDOC Week celebrations.
With NAIDOC Week falling during the school holidays, from July 3-10, both Eden Public School and Eden Marine High School held special assemblies on Friday, with the dancers as special guests.
The group, which is comprised of students from both schools, as well as some from Lumen Christi Catholic College at Pambula, also performed at the Jigamy Aboriginal Keeping Place during cultural activities on Wednesday.
Guluga Dancers creator, Warren Foster, has trained and mentored the group, and says he was overwhelmed with pride after seeing them perform over the past few days.
WATCH: The Eden Koori Dance Group perform a berry-picking dance at Eden Public School on Friday.
“I was really proud of them, they did a great job and it’s always good to see young people wanting to be involved, and being proud of who they are and where they come from,” he said.
“It’s really important to instill [their culture] in them [from a young age], so that they can keep it going and pass it on as they grow up.
“It makes their parents very proud, because a lot of the older ones didn’t have an opportunity to learn a lot about their culture, particularly dancing.
“They also got a lot of pride from performing in front of their elders, parents, uncles and aunties at Jigamy.”
The group performed a number of dances, including welcome, berry-picking, fishing dances, and spearfishing for a captivated audience.
Warren said preparations had stepped up a gear over the last week, but the majority of the group were comfortable with the dances after over two years of experience.
Student leaders also spoke about this year’s NAIDOC theme of ‘Serving Country’ and read Stephen Clayton’s poem, ‘I am Aborigine’, while indigenous prac teachers spoke of their pride in seeing students embrace their culture.