Healing Waters: Revitalising Community Spirit at the Guniinii First Nations Conference

The Guniinii First Nations conference in Moree, held a Community Healing Day at Moree Pool in December, attended by over 400 people. 

This was to bring the community together after the referendum’s No result, to reinvigorate community spirit and provide Christmas hampers.   

This was a really significant day of providing assistance, worth over $7,000, and even more significantly, it truly was a day of healing. 

Guniinii members initially hesitated for the event to be at Moree Pool due to its tragic history when Indigenous people were banned in the systemic discrimination of the infamous Moree Council Bylaw, from 1955-1965.

Local First Nations elders personally experienced the ban and shunned it in the 60+ years since, as did many of their families. These elders were personally invited and we provided assistance with swimwear for the considerable number who didn’t have any.

Thanks to Armidale Central Council, access to the event and food was free for everyone. They also covered gate entrance and pool slide fees and discounted pool entry to $3. We provided BBQ sausage sandwiches and Mungindi burgers (which is white bread, devon, sauce and hot chips), and Christmas hamper items with food, health care products, baby products and swim/beach wear.

It was a wonderful gathering, mostly of families with a significant number commenting it was their first time at the pool. Many personally thanked the Vincentians and were very appreciative for Vinnies hosting the day. The Society was represented by senior members, Jann, Vince, Nirmal and Phil, Guniinii Conference, Jaki, Polly, Irene, Charlie and Denise, and several helpers. It was deeply gratifying to be involved in this historic and important First Nations community event.

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