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Rowes Bay residents explore indigenous art and food

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Residents at Rowes Bay residential aged care community have celebrated Australia’s indigenous heritage last week as part of NAIDOC Week commemorations.

Residents took part in a variety of activities including decorating boomerangs, ochre, stone, and dot painting, and making bush flower arrangements. Taste buds were tempted with a variety of indigenous and indigenous-inspired food including kangaroo stew and residents enjoyed the opportunity to season and wrap their own barramundi for lunch.

Indigenous resident Nancy Hurphy said all the activities brought back memories.

“I loved the ochre paints. It all reminds me of my younger days,” she said.

The activities were led by Rowes Bay Diversional Therapist, Chezz Thompson.

“A highlight of our celebrations is to see Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture flowing through art and food! Some of our indigenous residents helped shape the program, and what they would like to share with fellow residents and team during the week,” Chezz said.

“It’s been great to learn from our residents what they liked when they were younger, and what traditions they learnt from their elders.”

A wall mural was also constructed showing the many diverse backgrounds of both residents and team members. The mural, titled “Where we come from” shares the identity, culture, and diversity of the Rowes Bay community.

“By reflecting on the memories and life experiences of our residents and team, we can begin to appreciate the origins of values and beliefs and the ways in which they have shaped our community,” Chezz said.

“Connection to country is particularly important during the NAIDOC celebrations. Many of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples talk about their identities with family, kinship, where they were born and lived, the traditions and their history.

“The mural helps us to explore our collective histories and share them with each other.”