First Hand Solutions Aboriginal Corporation is holding its annual Aboriginal cultural welcome ceremony for refuges and newly arrived Australians at its Blak Markets on Bare Island on Sunday 7 May. Individuals and families who are new to Australia are invited to join in a special traditional welcome and smoking ceremony conducted by Aboriginal elder, Greg Simms.
According to CEO of First Hand Solutions Aboriginal Corporation, Peter Cooley, “this is the second year we have run the welcome festival and the reason we do this is Aboriginal people are welcoming people, and also the appropriate people to welcome newly arrived visitors to Australia.”
“The day will also be a chance to share stories on not only the hardships but the achievements we share with people dispossessed from their land and forced to leave their communities,” Peter said.
First Hand Solutions Aboriginal Corporation started the Blak Markets three years ago to provide economic development opportunities to Indigenous business and employment opportunities for youth. First Hand Solutions is an Aboriginal charity providing cultural reconnection programs for urban Aboriginal young people and all profits from the Blak Markets are reinvested into these programs.
Open at the daylight saving hours of 9:30am until 3pm, the Blak Markets take place at Bare Island within the Kamay-Botany Bay National Park with the support of the NSW Parks and Wildlife Service.
Entry price onto Bare Island, which is usually only open for tours, is $2.50 per person, however children under five and refugees are free.
The day will feature cultural dance performances, arts and craft stalls, weaving and bushfood and halal food. The market opens at 9.30am and official proceedings will start with a welcome to country at 10.30am.