Acknowledgement of Country

Dharug

Bayadyinyang budyari Dharug yiyura Dharug Ngurra.
Bayady’u budyari Dharug Warunggadgu baranyiin barribugu.
Bayady’u budyari wagulgu yiyuragu Ngurra bimalgu Blacktown City. Flannel flowers dyurali bulbuwul.
Yanmannyang mudayi Dharug Ngurrawa. Walama ngyini budbud dali Dharug Ngurra Dharug yiyura baranyiin barribugu.

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English

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of this Land, the Dharug people, and their continued connection to Country.
We pay our respects to Elders from yesterday to tomorrow.
We extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples of Blacktown City where the flannel flowers still grow proud and strong.
We will walk softly on this land and open our hearts to Country as the Dharug people have for tens of thousands of years.

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If I could come to The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre every day, I would

Uncle Wes Marne OAM

Want to connect with First Nations culture?

Acknowledging our place on Darug Land, Elders in Residence connects all members of the community with First Nations culture and knowledge in an engaging community experience.

Hear stories and poetry, try your hand at a creative activity and learn a thing or two from local Elders, Uncle Wes Marne, Uncle Danny Eastwood and Uncle John Farrington.

Damper and beverages provided.

*Please note that sometimes our Elders have other commitments and, as such, who is present may change.
You are welcome to contact us directly on 9839 6558 the week of your visit to confirm who will be in attendance.

Register here

Bios

Uncle Wes Marne AM is a Bigambul man and community Elder who has lived in Mount Druitt for the past 45 years. He is a storyteller, poet and custodian of his grandfather’s Creation and Dreamtime stories.

Uncle Wes is a published author, and has toured his work at Sydney Festival (2016), Yirramboi First Nations Arts Festival (2017), Way Out West Children’s Festival at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre (2017), and recently he published Through Old Eyes (2022), his first book of poetry for his 100th Birthday. In December 2022, he received an Honorary Fellowship from Western Sydney University for service as an educator and champion of Aboriginal culture, an advocate for vulnerable young people and a pillar of the greater western Sydney community.

Uncle Wes comes from a long line of storytellers and has been working with children, primary and high schools, universities, gaols, social housing and justice to share his love of culture and stories throughout all the community.

Uncle Danny Eastwood is descended from the Ngemba group of Western New South Wales. His mother came from Brewarrina and he was born and grew up in the Eora area of the Gadigal Nation. For the past 43 years, he has been a proud member of the Dharug community of Western Sydney.

As a painter and cartoonist, he has produced numerous works which tell the story of his people and Country, including his contributions to Koori Mail over the last 30 years and his public art which can be found all over Sydney.

In 1992, Uncle Danny won the NSW NAIDOC Award. He shared the National NAIDOC Aboriginal Artist of the Year Award, receiving 1st prize in the NSW Parliament Award and the NAIDOC Poster Award in 1993. Uncle Danny is responsible for building and making the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial to honour Aboriginal service people at the Anzac Memorial, Hyde Park, Sydney.

Uncle John Farrington was born in the town of Young, part of the Wiradjuri Nation, the people of the 3 rivers. He was taken to Sydney at the age of 9 along with his siblings and put into the custody of the NSW Government as a Ward of the State. He has lived and worked in Sydney since and connected with the people of the Dharug Nation as he struggled to find family, his roots, his identity and his connection to Country, which is now linked to the Gamilaraay People through his father.

Uncle John has been active in sharing his stories and experience through Dharug community meetings and gatherings. Through this space, he shares his remarkable life and his continual journey to find family and reconnect. He loves to share documents as well as photos that he has discovered on his quest for answers. Uncle John loves to meet people, tell them his stories and share his Culture, while highlighting and encouraging the strength and survival spirit that may help others to overcome the past.

This project is presented by Blacktown Arts and supported by Blacktown City Council and the NSW Government through Create NSW.

Image Credits:

Uncle Wes Marne by Eliya Cohen, Mosca Media Australia
Uncle Wes Marne by Eliya Cohen, Mosca Media Australia
Uncle Danny Eastwood by Eliya Cohen, Mosca Media Australia
Uncle John Farrington by Eliya Cohen, Mosca Media Australia

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