The garden is the work of more than 100 people and has taken more than a decade to complete. Aboriginal community devleopment worker Chris Thorne shared stories of Benalla's Indigenous heritage.MONIQUE FREER July 18, 2014 3:50am
Central Hume Primary Care Partnership Aboriginal Community Development Worker Chris Thorne led a tour of Benalla's indigenous gardens as part of NAIDOC Week celebrations.
The Benalla and district community honoured Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who fought in defence of Australia last week during NAIDOC Week.
Benalla Rural City Council hosted two events last Thursday to celebrate NAIDOC Week, which is held every year across Australia to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
A morning tea was held at Benalla Town Hall, followed by a tour of the Indigenous Gardens, led by Central Hume Primary Care Partnership Aboriginal community development worker Chris Thorne.
‘‘NAIDOC Week is a chance to share our culture, and when we share our culture we preserve life,’’ Mr Thorne said.
About 20 people attended the garden tour and heard Mr Thorne share stories about Indigenous heritage and Benalla residents who had been moved by the site during a visit.
‘‘I never get sick of it, I’m so passionate about it and what we’ve been able to achieve since the beginning,’’ he said.
‘‘Nobody comes here and doesn’t walk away being affected in some way.
‘‘This is going to be the jewel in Benalla’s NAIDOC events.’’
Located in Moira Reserve, the garden is the work of more than 100 people, including volunteers, across 11 years.
Mr Thorne was awarded the Dame Phyllis Frost individual award at the National Tidy Towns Awards in 2007 for his involvement in the development of the garden, his role in promoting the history of the local Indigenous culture to Benalla Rural City schools and his ongoing passion for working with young people.
‘‘It is important to be able to make the Benalla Rural City community aware of its Indigenous heritage, its cultures and its historical significance through activities like NAIDOC week,’’ Mr Thorne said.
‘‘We now have more than 140 people living within the Benalla Rural City with an Indigenous heritage and I’m pleased to know these people are feeling more comfortable to proudly identify with their cultural background.’’
Ahead of the Anzac centenary next year, this year’s theme was ‘Serving Country: Centenary and Beyond’. Indigenous Vietnam War veteran Graeme Pickering was the guest speaker at the morning tea.
Aboriginal Affairs Minister Tim Bull said NAIDOC Week could be traced back to the 1920s when Aboriginal groups raised community awareness of the issues facing Aboriginal people.
‘‘Victoria has a young and growing Aboriginal population and it is important that we continue to support strong Aboriginal communities,’’ Mr Bull said.
‘‘NAIDOC Week is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the significant contribution Aboriginal people and culture make to building a stronger Victorian community.’’
When Sam Atukorala addresses his children in his mother tongue of Sinhalese, they understand him completely, but they always reply in English.
Mulwala’s own motor racing sensation Steve ‘Harro’ Harrison has won the 2014 Victorian Super Tin Tops Championship.
St Augustines College, Kyabram, has won the inaugural School’s Sustainability Cup for 2014, beating several Melbourne schools.
The Shire of Campaspe is concerned as to the incomplete reporting of Port of Echuca property matters.
Four people, including a father and his two children, were fined more than $18,000 for their role in an alcohol-fuelled brawl at a Lockington party earlier this year which ended in a teenager beaten up and forced into a dog cage.
New faces for Girgarre FNC
A time to include late loved ones in the spirit of the season.
Firefighters were able to save a Finley property's buildings after a large stack of hay bales went up in flames on Monday.
Eppalock Primary School has gone global.
Scout Group hopes to raise funds for World Scout Jamboree through novel 24-hour endurance test.
Forest tour only way to understand impact.
Fodder depots have been set up in Euroa and Thoona for farmers hit by the recent fires.
The rail tracks are in such disrepear V/Line is having to close the buffet car between Euroa and Seymour due to health and safety concerns to hospitality staff.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.