Celebrating culture at WADJAK Northside Community Resource Centre opening

Balga Senior High School mentor Jerome Garlett with WADJAK Dreaming dancers Brayden Roberts (14), River Kickett (13), Alijah Stacey (12) and Baden Garlett (12).Right: Centre founders Len Yarran and Shane Garlett.       
Balga Senior High School mentor Jerome Garlett with WADJAK Dreaming dancers Brayden Roberts (14), River Kickett (13), Alijah Stacey (12) and Baden Garlett (12).Right: Centre founders Len Yarran and Shane Garlett.       

THE WADJAK Northside Community Resource Centre was officially opened last Thursday in Balga.

A large crowd turned out for the opening, along with community Elders, Aboriginal Affairs Minister Peter Collier, Mirrabooka MLA Janine Freeman and Stirling Mayor Giovanni Italiano.

The centre will provide a place for the whole community to learn about Aboriginal culture and history in the South-West of WA, dating back 40,000 years.

Founders Len Yarran and Shane Garlett have worked with local schools, community members and the City of Stirling to develop the centre, which aims to provide resources for Aboriginal people and celebrate, strengthen and promote indigenous culture and history to the wider community.

Mr Garlett said it had been a busy few weeks in the lead-up to the opening, but there was still plenty to do.

“Developing our centre is the main thing – we’re going to be designing our outdoor kitchen, meeting place and our workshop,” he said.

Mr Yarran said the involvement of local schools had been integral.

“Education is the most powerful thing you can put into your body,” he said.

“We need to educate people with an understanding of our culture – we are the oldest culture in the world and we need it to be respected and acknowledged.

“The idea is to share that culture and let everyone know that Australia was brought up on the back of one of the oldest cultures in the world.

“We all should be proud of that.

“Everyone of us has dark clouds that come into our lives sometimes and we want WADJAK to be a cool breeze that just blows those clouds away.”

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