NAIDOC Week in Bega celebrated with the Lyndon Wandarma team
Lyndon’s Bega Team – Wandarma – participated in the NAIDOC week event held in Bega. The team enjoyed catching up with the mob and having a yarn at the Bega Indoor Sports Stadium on last Wednesday. Lyndon also had information on display about our services.
The following appeared in the Bega District News July 6, 2017
“Geebung Guran Djiringanj”, is the newly rejuvenated Welcome to Country of the Djiringanj people of the Bega Valley.
It is the language from here, so it has to be taught to the community.
This year’s NAIDOC Week theme is the importance, resilience and richness of Indigenous languages, and the teaching of local language in school’s was seen as a necessary move by those at the Bega Indoor Sports Stadium on Wednesday.
For many people like Bega’s Cameron Thomas the day was about reconnecting with family who had traveled from as far as Nowra for the day.
“It means a lot, because it brings all us mob together to have a yarn and see family we haven’t seen in a while,” he said.
Bega’s Ron Thomas echoed his sentiment.
“It means a lot, because it’s a gathering of the mob, all of us together,” he said.
He said while this year’s theme is language, it was one element distinctly missing from the region.
“That’s one thing we don’t have here is language, a lot of people don’t know their own language,” he said.
“It all comes back to the Stolen Generations, because before that people were speaking language.
“When they moved them to missions is when we lost it.”
He said the local Djiringanj language should be taught in schools, as did Bega’s Eric Carpenter.
“It is the language from here, so it has to be taught to the community,” he said.
“The oldies have taught us, for me it all came through my aunty and uncle.
“The kids are starting to get the hang of it, and our slang goes all the way up the coast.”
Former child star and Bidjigal man Vic Simms visited Bega on Wednesday to entertain the NAIDOC Week crowd.
“My grandmother was a Dixon, so I have a bloodline to this region,” the 71-year-old said.
“I have a great connection to the land.”
After being discovered as an 11-year-old by Col Joye, Mr Simms released his first single Yo-Yo Heart at 15, and went on to perform with the great Shirley Bassey.
“Today means a day of celebration, and a day of recognition,” he said.
It was Mr Simms first trip to Bega since 1962.
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