Readers Contributions – Ride With Aboriginal Peoples

Ride With Aboriginal Peoples Manly (Kay-ye-my) to Church Point (Garigal)

The 4th annual Ride with Aboriginal Peoples event, held on January 26th each year, is a gesture to acknowledge that not all Australians see Australia Day in the same way and to stand with Aboriginal people’s aim for unity for all Australians.

30/01/22 Aboriginal Support Group Manly Warringah Pittwater: by Neil Evers with Organisers for ride- Colin Hutton, Neil Evers, Clair Jackson and many others

Those who gathered at the Manly end of 2022 Ride with Aboriginal people

26th January 2022

It seems right to start the day with the soulful sound of the digeridoo looking over Manly Cove where Arthur Phillip was speared by Wil-le-me-ring which is thought to be payback for his kidnapping of Bennelong and others. As the ring and rhythm of clap sticks took us somewhere else and Aleta sung in Darug language about tall ships, heartache, dispossession and now a time of reconciliation.

An acknowledgement to country paying respect to ancestors of Aboriginal people that have walked this country for many thousands of years and acknowledgement for the elders past present and emerging.

Warami (Hello) was used to greet everyone, we heard that the ride was a gesture that not all Australians see Australia Day the same way and to stand with Aboriginal Peoples and aim for unity for all Australians.

Whether you call this place Kay-me-my or Garigal or you know them as Manly or Church Point, we share it together.

Consider that where-ever you stand in these beautiful places you will be standing in footsteps of people that have been here before, some for many thousands of years and is now the oldest continuous colure in the world.

We have come here from many different places in the world and it a right that we need to learn, respect, and celebrate parts of our culture and history. I also believe it is right that we should listen, learn, teach and understand what we have done to Aboriginal Peoples.

Can I ask each one of you to learn, teach, respect and celebrate Aboriginal culture and history that has been in this country for many thousands of years?

About 100 people gathered at Manly and Church Point to show respect for Aboriginal Peoples with about 40 riding the 28 km.

Uncle Neil Evers and Aunty Clair Jackson along with many other people gave the riders a great warm welcome to Garigal Country. All-a (Hello)

Uncle Neil talked about the many date changes of events over the years and the realisation that Australia Day on 26th is a recent date on the calendar.

  • 18 January 1788. Captain Arthur Phillip arrived at Botany Bay.
  • 26 January 1788. The flag was raised at Sydney Cove.
  • 7 February 1788. The formal establishment of the Colony of New South Wales. The vesting of all land to the reigning monarch King George III.
  • 30 July 1915. First official national day that was named ‘Australia Day’, which was to raise funds for the World War I effort.
  • 1949 to 1955. The Day of Mourning was held annually on the Sunday before Australia Day and was known as Aborigines Day.
  • 1955. Aborigines Day was shifted to the first Sunday in July as it was decided the day should be a day to celebration Aboriginal culture. This is now called NAIDOC week.
  • 1994 Australia Day officially became a public holiday for all states and territories. In the past, states around Australia had celebrated the founding of their colonies on different date.

Aunty Clair spoke with pride and eloquence about the significance of women in Aboriginal culture and the many that have contributed to and fought hard for Aboriginal rights and the many that still do. Auntie Clair is one of those women.

Catherine Donnelly spoke from her heart about The Uluru Statement and The Indigenous Voice to Parliament so that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a real say in the Laws, policies and programs that affect their rights.

Didgeridoo playing by Matt James and the voices of the 3 Wassell sisters showed us how beautiful and soulful songs are when sung in the Darug language.

Vince Konijn and Ann took us through the song called Tall Trees and we finish with the Wassell sisters taking us through a group rendition of ‘We are Australians’.

Thanks to Melinda Rippe for getting the signature to keep us covid save and thanks to Ian for getting us there safely and all the clapstick players.

Barley / Ki / Giballee / Bung-Hi / Yaddung / Guringai / Wannangini Wahroong

You / me / come together / today / as one / in / Guringai / Country