REPORT | GEIFN | GOES | Tanderrum | Wednesday 5 October 2016 | 6.30-7.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Tanderrum (the Kulin National Ceremony) is a celebration of the ground we stand on, practices and people whose Ancestors walked it before our time.

To open Melbourne Festival 2016, five clans of Kulin Nation came together to commemorate Tanderrum. A millennially old ceremony managing change, welcoming visitors to Country, purposeful congregation and keeping all safe and in harmony.

In times of plenty, Tanderrum (large gatherings) occurred between different language groups for trade, initiation, marriage exchange, discuss politics, have a celebratory feast and rekindle honoured friendships. The central Fire is made from flora provided by host and also symbolically brought from the visitors's locales. Assembled Elders met together to open proceedings and each then invited their clan of Wurundjeri, Boon Wurrung, Wadawurrung, Dja Dja Wurrung or Taungurung to join, performing their group's offering. Showcasing specialities each clan is traditionally known for.

Traditionally oral histories recall events estimated to be 10,000 years old. This presentation includes songs and dances from different clans, a Sacred Sand Circle and experience of creation, generation, immersion of smoke offering blessings, initiations, protections. Touched by smoke, participants promise to uphold Bunjil Lore, learning history and respecting people, land and ways of Bunjil (Creator Eagle).

Sung in traditional languages, narrated and explained by Uncle Jack Charles and performed by cross-generation, enthusiastic and exciting cast of many. Facilitated by Ilbijerri, a leading Australian and long-running Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Theatre Company.

On behalf of Buddhist Council Victoria Interfaith (bINTER) and Glen Eira Interfaith Network (GEIFN), thankyou to Hosts, Guests and Presenters for inspiring demonstration of what harmonious gathering and co-existence is. A momentus presentation, skilful organisation and deserved collective pride, received with gratitude.

Ilbijerri Theatre Company
Arts House, Meat Market
5 Blackwood Street
North Melbourne VIC 3051
Tel: 9329 9097

With support from Melbourne Festival, Barday Foundation, VicHealth, Newsboys Foundation and Helen Macpherson Smith Trust.