SCOTT ALGER AND SHAUN BUCHAN
Today the Bassendean community gathered together for the inaugural Dandjoo Koorliny reconciliation event, commemorating the strong Nyungar connection to Bassendean and specifically to Mary Crescent Reserve.
Graeme Haggart, Director of Community Development for the Town of Bassendean said the park was one of the most significant places in metropolitan Perth for Nyungar culture.
“We started four years ago, we had a tree planting here we just did in acknowledgement of the Sorry Day address, on the anniversary of Sorry Day on the 26th of May,” Mr Haggart said.
“We plan to make this event like NAIDOC week.”
The area the event was held in, Mary Crescent Reserve, holds a specific link to Nyungar community.
“This is where the tribes gathered together, many years ago, and came together to create a cultural area for the Nyungar people.”
Archaeological evidence has shown that the Nyungar people have a shared history with Bassendean dating back at least 30,000 years before the first arrival of settlers in 1827.
Now more than 14,000 residents live in Bassendean where they come together to share this deep cultural link with the land.
The event also marked the fourth anniversary of the Sorry Day Address where a native tree is planted.
This year Vivienne Weir, member of the Bassendean Cultural Advisory Group, and her grandson Brian Cox planted the tree. Her sister and chair of the group Lynette Cox had planted the tree previously.
Ms Cox said that this was the first time they have had music and entertainment.
Nyungar man Dennis Simmons played the didgeridoo, and worked with the students from Ashfield Primary School to teach them about the history of Bassendean.
Bassendean mayor John Gangell said he was looking forward to the showcase of song, dance and storytelling.
“That will celebrate and highlight the rich and vibrant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture alive in Bassendean community,” he said.
The Town of Bassendean is also in the process of creating the Mary Crescent Gathering site to continue to acknowledge and learn from the Nyungar community.