13 January 2023

Griffith Regional Aquatic Centre to host 'Survival Day' on 26 January

| Oliver Jacques
Start the conversation
A group of Land Council members waving the Aboriginal flag

Desma Newman (board member), James Williams (deputy chairperson), Vickie Louise Simpson (chairperson) and Stephen Young (CEO) are championing Survival Day. Photo: Supplied.

The Griffith Local Aboriginal Land Council (GLALC) is organising a celebration of Wiradjuri culture called Survival Day on the 26 January Australia Day public holiday at the Griffith Regional Aquatic Centre.

The event, to be hosted in partnership with Griffith City Council and the NSW Aboriginal Land Council, will be open to everyone and provide free entry to the pool, a host of Indigenous performances, market stalls, face painting, and a free sausage sizzle.

READ ALSO: Griffith Aboriginal Medical Service welcomes two new mental health professionals

The GLALC Board explained the purpose of the event in a statement:

“We acknowledged that there was nothing to bring the community together to celebrate our survival as a people. This promoted a partnership with the Griffith City Council to hold an event that would allow a safe and culturally appropriate space for members of both the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities. We wanted the community to join together to improve relationships, showcase some of our culture and provide an opportunity for people to share and learn about the significance of the day.

“Survival Day is an opportunity to create awareness, and share our stories, our knowledge, and our culture with the wider community. It’s a step forward in our healing, our journey, and our reconciliation as a whole nation.

“Until the past is told, acknowledged, and accepted, then the true essence of reconciliation cannot be achieved.”

In a major coup this year, the GLALC were able to secure the services of wildly popular Yamajti/Noongar (Western Australia) man Jayden Oakley, better known as Finessemane, a creator of basketball-themed online content with over half a million followers across various social media platforms, to MC the day.

“He also has connections to Temora and has worked amongst the Indigenous community in Griffith,” social media manager Jacinta Simpson said.

Jayden Oakley shooting a basketball hoop

Jayden Oakley, better known as Finessemane, is a major drawcard. Photo: Instagram.

There will also be a number of high-profile performers, included:

Dinawan’s Connection – a traditional dance group based in Cowra
Buuja Buuja Butterfly Dance Group – a traditional dance group based in Sydney
Marrambidya Dance Group – a traditional dance group made up of Indigenous youth from the Griffith area
Dwayne Broome – a local singer
Dwayne, Rhimi and Oletha – actors, dancers and musicians
Tahalianna Soward Mahanga – Indigenous-Tongan singer based in Canberra with bloodlines to Brungle, Condobolin and Griffith
Dookie and Shane – local Indigenous singer and his guitarist
Lollipop – local Indigenous busker Lawrence Barlow.

READ ALSO Griffith rapper to launch online space for local youth to showcase talent

The following groups will host stalls:

Jyelah Mind & Body – run by local Indigenous woman Kerrilee Philp, featuring luxury, handcrafted soaps, self-care products and candles, incorporated with traditional bush medicine. Inspired by her late daughter Jyelah
KPU Creative – an art stall run by local Indigenous woman Karissa Undy and inspired by the loss of her son
Allan Mckenzie Senior – local Indigenous man showcasing traditional artwork and artefacts
Carolyn Williams – local Indigenous woman, running the yarn and painting activity for the elders’ tent on the day
Gail Williams – local Indigenous woman showcasing traditional artwork and crafts
Sista Burgers – run by Indigenous sisters, Rosie Powell and Angela Galluzzo, based in Wagga Wagga with bloodlines from Narrandera. They will serve kangaroo burgers and emu steak sandwiches
MarraMarra Dreaming – run by Indigenous woman Cyndy Newman-Piromalli, selling handcrafted Aboriginal artwork, crafts and resources
Murrawalirra – run by Indigenous man Max Lyons, based in Wagga Wagga with bloodlines from Narrandera selling jewellery and crafts
Griffith Aboriginal Medical Service – running a free photo booth
Narrandera Sandhill Artefacts – a business run by Uncle Michael Lyons based in Narrandera. On the day, the stall will be run by his grandson Jack Lyons and feature traditional artwork and artefacts
Denise Marr – local Indigenous woman doing free face painting
GLALC – doing temporary tattoos and giving away free shirts and flags.

A free community bus will run from three collection points (Pioneer, Parko and Three Ways Mission) every hour on the hour between 11 am and 5 pm to take people to the event. For more information, please follow the GLALC Facebook page.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Riverina news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riverina stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.