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Yugambeh Elder delivers ‘first welcome’ to First Nations of the Commonwealth

April 4, 2018 Sports No Comments Email Email

The invitation to First Nations people of the Commonwealth delivered by Yugambeh Elders Ted Williams and Patricia O’Connor at the March 2017 Buckingham Palace Queen’s Baton Commencement Ceremony has come full circle today with a unique welcome event to Commonwealth Games Association members today.

Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC) Chairman, Peter Beattie AC said the ‘Yabru’ is a ‘first welcome’ to the nation by the Yugambeh Language Group, the traditional owners of the land on which the Games will be held.

“The event symbolises a coming together as one of members of the Commonwealth of Nations with a traditional welcome and a Yugambeh cultural performance followed by an exchange from several of the participating nations and territories,” Mr Beattie said.

“This is a very special occasion and one that has never been held before in association with the Commonwealth Games. We are very proud that we are the very first event to deliver a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and this demonstrates a further commitment to cultural awareness across the Commonwealth.

Commonwealth Games Federation President (CGF), Louise Martin CBE said, days before the Opening Ceremony, history has already been made as the local indigenous community welcomes many First Nations representatives from around the Commonwealth for the first time at a Commonwealth Games.

“Building on the experiences and achievements of the Reconciliation Action Plan here on the Gold Coast, we must seize the opportunity to begin a wider conversation about moving towards Indigenous Reconciliation through sport; and developing clear benchmarks for major sporting events which take place on First Nations land.

As President of the CGF, I would like to formally extend my heartfelt thanks to the Yugambeh Language Group for everything they have done to contribute to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Yabru guests will be invited to experience Dreamworld’s Corroboree and a traditional kapmauri– traditional Torres Strait Island cooking, exchange stories and meet other country representatives of the Commonwealth Games– this will be one of the first times they will meet in this environment.

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