Dharriwaa Elders Group's Secretary Virginia Robinson made an important speech to the community on Wednesday 13 April 2016.
She welcomed everyone attending the Family Fun Day to Gamilaraay country and acknowledged Elders who have gone before us, and who were present. She remembered that Dharriwaa Elders Group began as an initiative of the Walgett AMS in 1999, in recognition of the wellbeing benefits for Elders and community practicing and keeping culture alive. She remembered DEG's founding Chairperson, George Rose OAM, and his founding Chairperson role for the Walgett AMS also. She acknowledged the fact that Walgett AMS is the biggest employer of Aboriginal people in Walgett and probably north west NSW. And she paid tribute to the determination and sheer hard work put in by the founding CEO, Christine Corby, in constructing the environment, governance and probity required to build and maintain a healthy organisation and make it the success it is today.
After her speech, and a speech by WAMS' Chairperson Bill Kennedy, the Walgett Gamilaraay Aboriginal Community Working Party launched a book published by NSW FaCS, featuring Merv Bishop photos - "Growing Up Strong Birralii-gal (children) Walgett". Later on that evening after entertainment provided by the Walgett Shire Council youth week workers, a visiting Korean missionary group, and local band "Under the Weather", a spectacular fire sculpture was lit to celebrate WAMS' 30 years of service that included 3 of the dhingaa (meats / totem animals) of Walgett community.
On Friday 15 April, WAMS held a Ball, and later presented DEG with the cake top to enjoy over future days (maybe months after freezing!) Images from the week-long celebrations should appear on WAMS website soon.