Communities from across the region came together last week to celebrate and share their culture.
Eden spoken word artist Aunty Meaghan Holt, also known as Sassi Nooyoom, was one of many locals involved in the cultural day at TAFE NSW’s Bega Campus on Thursday, November 29.
The Duurunu Miru Dance Group and Djaadjawan Dancers were also involved in the campus hosted Indigenous culture day, which also had a focus on the traditional owners of the Bega Valley Shire, the Djiringanj and Thaua.
Ngarigo and Djiringanj Elder Aunty Ellen Mundy said it is important for the wider community to learn about and try to understand traditional culture.
“We want to educate people about the area and who the traditional people are here, the Djiringanj,” she said.
“People learn about the culture up north but don’t realise we’re descended from them.
“People don’t realise there’s people living all over this country, and places like Tathra, Wallagoot and Bega is our clan land.
“We are still here on our country, we never left.”
The day was organised by TAFE NSW Aboriginal Events Management students and the Junior Aboriginal Education Consultative Group.
Originally from Burma, Bega Valley resident Nuk Piyanut said she enjoys being exposed to Indigenous culture.
“I have Aboriginal friends and I want to learn about them,” she said.
Djiringanj and Ngarigo Elder Uncle David Dixon said cultural days are important for the younger members of the community.
“Before the English came the bush was a supermarket, a pharmacy and a school,” he said.
“It is important so they are not alienated from the lands they live upon.”
Mr Dixon spoke to the public about bush food and the Djiringanj language.
Artist Joe McKenzie represented the Bega Valley Regional Gallery, and encouraged younger people to embrace their culture and their creativity.