Helping our youth by Connecting 2 Culture

The Ngarrindjeri flag. Image: File.
The Ngarrindjeri flag. Image: File.

My name is Anthony and I am a proud descendant of the Ngarrindjeri people.

At this time, I feel like a lot of our young Ngarrindjeri people are not being taught or told the importance of culture.

Aspects of culture such as our dreaming, language, country (ruwe), environment, lore/law, trade, family and kinship all appear to be falling by the wayside.

In saying that, our culture has adapted dramatically to accommodate all that has been introduced into Australia since 1788.

My people have proved to be rich and resilient, and it is a strong part of who we are today.

Lack of access and opportunity are just some of the reasons young Aboriginal people have been unable to reconnect with their culture and roots.

In my opinion it is a cultural responsibility to share and pass on culture, values and beliefs.

It is exciting that more Ngarrindjeri festivals are starting to appear, such as Dupang Festival.

Last year Headspace applied for, and won, a FRRR/ABC Heywire youth innovation grant.

We decided to run an event during reconciliation week called Connecting to Culture (C2C).

This event is an entertaining, fun, and educational youth-organised festival for all Australians to come together and connect to Ngarrindjeri culture through food, dance, music, art, stories and much more.

It will be an opportunity to overcome some of the stereotypes that are currently within our community and it will give all Australians a chance to understand the essential features of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, including our special connection to the land and our commitment to family and community, so we can walk on this land together as friends and equals, so you can share our pride.

C2C event will be held at Sturt Reserve on May 31, between the hours of 10am to 3pm.

There is a need for events like these because our young people are at risk of losing their cultural identity.

There appears to be too many barriers for young Aboriginal people to stay connected to their culture and it appears our kids maybe haven't had the access and opportunities in their lives to go out on country and connect with their culture.

With the support of local organisations, we hope that this can become an event that runs annually.

Anthony Wilson, Aboriginal engagement and youth worker, Headspace Murray Bridge