FOR the first time in its history, City of South Perth will hold an official Welcome to Country, performed by Mathew McGuire, at its first council meeting for 2018.
The City invited Mr McGuire to perform the welcome as a symbol of acknowledgement to the Noongar Bibbulmun people and their significant contribution to the land, history and future of the City.
Mayor Sue Doherty said it was an honour to have Mr McGuire scheduled to attend the meeting.
“As a City we aim to work towards building and developing long lasting relationships with the Aboriginal community and all community members as we strive to create a (place) where everyone is connected, included and respected,” she said.
Mr McGuire is a highly respected member of the Perth community, having performed welcome ceremonies for various organisations and events.
He said welcoming ceremonies had been carried out by Aboriginal peoples for more than 40,000 years but of late had become an event that many organisations had ‘adopted’ to give recognition.
“Building a welcome for the new year of the chamber (of South Perth) is about driving away the bad spirits that may have been part of the year before and then coming in with a new, clean slate,” Mr McGuire said.
“In our regard it is asking for the blessing of our elders that have passed, that are presently here today and that are to come.”
In 2013, the City developed an Aboriginal Engagement Strategy, which aims to foster respect and understanding for the Noongar nation and provide support to one another through the guiding principles of connection and inclusiveness, advancement, relationships and visibility.
Community members can attend the council meeting at 7pm, February 27 in the Council Chamber at the Civic Centre.