A new plaque which recognises the Wolithica people as traditional custodians of the land was unveiled at Goodstart Early Learning Centre last week.By Jess Craig
Goodstart Early Learning Centre Echuca has unveiled a new plaque recognising the Wolithica people as traditional custodians of the land.
The plaque was unveiled in front of centre staff and students on Wednesday following a traditional smoke ceremony.
Centre director Jenny Creighton said she felt compelled to have the centre acknowledge the traditional custodians for some time.
‘‘We want to centre to be inclusive and welcoming and we have a number of Aboriginal children at the centre,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s important they learn about the history of the land and are exposed to different cultures.’’
Wolithica elders Neva Atkinson and Rick Ronnan were special guests at the unveiling ceremony, with Mr Ronnan performing a traditional smoke ceremony.
‘‘The smoke ceremony helps to cleanse our souls and revive our culture,’’ Mr Ronnan said.
‘‘Wolithica means ‘where the rivers meet’ and that is the name of the people here.
‘‘This plaque goes a way to helping preserve our culture and our history, and our association with the land.’’
Ms Atkinson helped to co-ordinate the creation of the plaque, which is now mounted on a piece of red gum and will sit in the centre’s foyer.
‘‘This plaque is special because it’s the first one in Echuca to have the correct wording on it,’’ she said.
‘‘All of the other plaques acknowledge the Yorta Yorta people, but Yorta Yorta is a language group.
‘‘Wolithica is the tribe name.
‘‘Eventually, we want to correct all of the plaques, but this is a start.’’
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