“I have lived in this area most of my life and I have never seen this place like I have seen it today with the Ronan family.”
This was the reflection of NACC Aboriginal Program Coordinator Bianca McNeair, who recently spent a day-out with film maker Ralf Mulks and members of the Ronan family filming an Acknowledgement of Country video on Amangu country (in Geraldton and surrounds).
Bianca interviewed Elder Rob Ronan, cousins Donna Ronan and David Ronan, and young family member Leroy Shiosaki who were all filmed by Ralf at three different locations across Amangu country.
The locations took-in the region’s river, hills and ocean – all important sites for interviewees and their extended family – and all recently highlighted in original artwork (commissioned by NACC) by local artist Wayne Ronan.
Elder Rob Ronan talked about his childhood learning from his Elders. “Anywhere that was new, I would go exploring, just like Leroy is doing now,” he said.
The video will be used to introduce Geraldton residents, school children and visitors to the unique traditional ecological knowledge of local Traditional Owners through an exhibit being developed by NACC and the WA Museum Geraldton.
In the video, the Ronan family stressed the importance of caring for our country – even if just by little things such as taking home your rubbish when out on country, and leaving only your footprints behind.
A Welcome to Country is a very important ceremony conducted in person by Traditional Owners to welcome visitors to their country, and to wish them well while they are on country. A Welcome to Country is different to an Acknowledgement of Country – which can be conducted by Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people facilitating an event. Both are important ways to acknowledge, share and respect Aboriginal people, their culture, and country.
Members of the public will have a first chance to attend the “world premiere” of the new video at the forthcoming museum exhibit, which will open to the public on Saturday 7 October. NACC and the WA Museum Geraldton will host a community open day to celebrate the launch.