HomeEventsMilbi FestivalElders welcome Christine Anu at Milbi lunch

Elders welcome Christine Anu at Milbi lunch

elders Milbi Christine Anu
Uncle Wayne Fossey-Johnson and Aunty Neola Savage with Christine Anu at the Milbi Festival Elders lunch hosted by Council at the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre.

Elders from Bundaberg and surrounding regions were invited to a lunch to mark the start of the Milbi Festival and meet performer Christine Anu.

Hosted by Bundaberg Regional Council, invited guests gathered at the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre with Christine ahead of her performance at the festival launch that evening.

Christine said it was wonderful to get the chance to meet Elders from Bundaberg and further afield and that it gave her a sense of community before taking to the stage.

“The Elders they know of my family so it’s really nice to make that connection,” Christine said.

“Anytime I get invited to be around Elders is a lovely experience because you don’t get to do that every day and when we're all gathered around like this, there’s that feeling of serenity and that wisdom they carry with them, everything settles.

“You just kind of feel welcomed when everybody's there… it’s a reset and it’s really set up the day nicely.”

The lunch and meet and greet with Christine was part of the Milbi Festival Welcome Home Elders program which this year was recognised when it was highly commended at the 2023 Queensland Reconciliation Awards.

Aunty Neola Savage was part of the group who travelled in and said it was exciting to be acknowledged and involved in the Milbi Festival in this way.

“We were invited by the Bundaberg [Regional] Council … to come here and be part of these celebrations for the Milbi and as the milbi comes home, that we come home as well,” Aunty Neola said.

“It’s very exciting and we haven't had this opportunity before and just the thought of people acknowledging us, the Council acknowledging us.”

She said the group had had a good time travelling on the bus together and were looking forward to watching Christine perform later in the evening.

“It's very happy and joyful [with] people talking and yarning and looking at the land coming down and all the different places and the place names in language,” she said.

“So, it's very exciting for the people on the bus and learning, and the kids are learning.”

Vice Chair of Bunya People’s Aboriginal Corporation (BPAC) Uncle Wayne Fossey-Johnson said the event was a wonderful opportunity to bring the community together and celebrate connection.

“My concept is the concept that is about connection, so the connection that we've got between the mountain and the sea and the sky above, Milbi has given us that chance to integrate communities as well,” Uncle Wayne said.

“So this [has] been a chance to talk about culture to talk about the link between the mountain and the journeys that people have had in the past ways in the song lines from the past.

“This festival gives you a chance to link sea, saltwater people, with freshwater people, which is exceptionally important and it's to celebrate part of the line which will continue forever, beyond this point.

“It's a chance to celebrate.”

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