Festivities have kicked off for National NAIDOC Week at the RMH, an annual celebration of the history, culture and achievements of our First Nations peoples.
Staff gathered for a traditional smoking ceremony at the RMH Parkville on Monday morning, with a Welcome to Country from Wurundjeri leader Johnny Terrick and dance group Bandok Tati, along with a reflection from Elder-in-Residence Aunty Marlene Burchill.
The ceremony marks the beginning of a week of celebration, which includes a special treat for inpatients and a staff taste testing of native foods that will soon become available to patients as part of the first ‘Mob Meal Plan’ in a Victorian hospital.
Visitors to the Parkville hospital might also spot a colourful new look for RMH volunteers, who have swapped their red polo shirts for a vibrant design from Yorta Yorta artist Alkina Edwards.
This year’s NAIDOC theme is ‘For Our Elders’, highlighting the important role of Elders in our community. From passing down sacred cultural practices and traditions, to being trailblazers and advocates, teachers, and leaders that have kept Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultures alive and strong for more than 60,000 years.
The RMH acknowledges and pays respect to Elders past and present, and the people of the Kulin nations on whose lands our health services are built.
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