Songs, didgeridoo and stories treated the 160 guests attending the welcome to country launch of this year’s Perth International Arts Festival Great Southern program at Albany Entertainment Centre last Friday night.
Noongar elder Lester Coyne introduced the show, before fellow elder Averil Dean commenced the welcome to country.
At the centre of the ceremony was the Nagallak Koort Boodja (Our Heart Land) canvas.
The 80 sqm canvas, on loan from the University of WA Crawley campus, is a collaborative project between all 14 Noongar clan groups.
Bunbury-based indigenous artist Troy Bennell was involved in the project.
Mr Bennell took to the stage to explain the meaning behind the painting.
“To put the stories of the Noongar people for everybody to see, I feel very honoured to show it to this crowd,” he said.
Great Southern Festival program manager Rod Vervest oversaw the night.
“I’m very happy with how the launch turned out,” he said.
“It was really moving to hear the stories of the Noongar people.”
Albany Entertainment Centre will host several Great Southern Festival events.The festival concludes Saturday, March 2.
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