The 26th of January is currently recognised as Australia Day, a day to celebrate all things we love about Australia, the land, the lifestyle, the diversity, the nature and animals and the people that make this country the place we call home. I say currently recognised, as one day the date may change, a contentious issue for some.
I live in Peramangk country, the traditional land of the Peramangk people, just one of over 250 language groups of the first people of Australia. I have been privileged to have been part of a smoking ceremony conducted by an aboriginal elder in my town, which involved being immersed in the wafting smoke from smoldering eucalyptus leaves as he silently walked among us. If you ever get the chance to be involved in one of these ceremonies as part of a welcome to country I would urge you to do it, it’s quite a moving and special experience and one that is significant in cleansing the past for a better future.