Celebrating Aboriginal ceremony, tradition & culture
Council, in conjunction with the La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council, holds the annual Koojay Corroboree on Coogee Beach to launch Reconciliation Week. This year the event was held on Friday 26 May 2023 from 11am to 12:30pm.
We experienced the sands of Coogee Beach come to life as Aboriginal Dancers performed traditional and contemporary dance in an event where Australia’s First Nations People interact with the Dreamtime through dance, music and storytelling.
With special performances from:
- Tim Bishop began our event by perform a smoking ceremony to cleanse the space and welcome visitors to the land.
- Jannawi Dance Clan, whose performance reflected rich story telling traditions of Aboriginal NSW.
- Gamay Dancers, dancers from the Gujaga Foundation whoes dances tell stories that relate to local dreaming stories and practices.
- Saltwater Dancers, who are made up from students from Chifley Public School, the students performed 3 dances. The ochre dance, pipi dance and Lyrebird dance.
- Warada Dance Group, meaning waratah are students from Matraville Soldiers’ Settlement Public School who are practicing culture. They are raising awareness in the wider community and sharing stories through song and dance.
- Doonooch Dancers, who are an exciting Dance group promoting traditional Aboriginal culture through song and dance.
- Aunty Marcia Ella-Duncan, who was our wonderful MC for this event.
The Corroboree is held during National Reconciliation Week; a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements and explore how each of us can join the national reconciliation effort and take fresh action in creating a nation strengthened by respectful relationships. Every year, there is an expectation that we all have a part to play in reconciliation and this year’s National Reconciliation Week theme ‘Be a voice for generations.’ The theme encourages all Australians to be a voice for reconciliation in tangible ways in our everyday lives – where we live, work and socialise. For the work of generations past, and the benefit of generations future, act today for a more just, equitable and reconciled country for all.
Reconciliation Week - National Reconciliation Week (NRW) runs annually from 27 May – 3 June. These dates mark two milestones in Australia’s reconciliation journey:
- The 1967 referendum and the historic Mabo decision, respectively.
- The 1967 successful referendum paved the way for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to be counted in the census and gave Commonwealth Government powers to make laws for the benefit of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
- The Mabo decision by the High Court of Australia turned over the notion of terra-nullius recognising Aboriginal native title of the lands of Australia.
Koojay Corroboree was first held in 2015 and has grown in to a significant Council event. The Koojay Corroboree is a celebration of the continuation of local Aboriginal culture and knowledge.
Koojay Corroboree 2022 performance