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We-Akon Dilinja (Mourning Reflection) dawn ceremony planned for St Kilda on January 26

Giovanni Torre -

St Kilda's foreshore will be the backdrop for the dawn We-Akon Dilinja mourning reflection ceremony on January 26.

The ceremony will be presented at Alfred Square from 5.45 am by the Boonwurrung Land and Sea Council (BLSC) in partnership with Port Phillip Council. Support is also provided by the National Australia Day Council.

BLSC N'arweet Jason Briggs said everyone is invited to respect and acknowledge "the many thousands of years of the Boonwurrung People's continuing culture and connection" to the land and waters traditionally known as Yuroke.

"The theme this year is Respect, Remembrance and Revival. The mourning ceremony will celebrate through song and performance the resilience of the Boonwurrung People and invite fellow citizens to share the acknowledgement of the past and present - acknowledging what we can learn from the past, rather than being chained by it, in order to create a better future," he said.

"We-Akon Dilinja is an opportunity for all Australians to redefine what it means to be Australian. If we all want solutions, we first have to identify the real problems and work together to achieve effective outcomes for a fairer and more inclusive nation."

Mayor Heather Cunsolo said Port Phillip was the first council in Australia to support a ceremony of this kind.

"We are very proud to be part of the fifth year of this commemorative event which draws more attendees every year to hear this important message of respect and reconciliation," she said.

There is no cost to attend the event and bookings are not required. Those who can't attend can view a livestream online.

Program

5.45 am start at Alfred Square, St Kilda

Didgeridoo Player: Kiernan Ironfield

Boonwurrung Welcome Song: James Henry

Welcome to Country and Introduction: Parbinata Dr Carolyn Briggs AM

Acknowledgement: Josh Burns MP

Baba Waian: John Wayne Parsons

Aspirations for 2024: Jason Briggs

Boonwurrung song – "Long Time Living Here" Shauntai Sherree Abdul-Rahman (written by

Deborah Cheetham AO, Parbinata Carolyn Briggs, Jarra Steel & Aunty Fay Stewart Muir)

Reading: Cr Heather Cunsolo, Port Phillip Council Mayor

Irmer: John Wayne Parsons

Balayang: James Henry

Smoking Ceremony: led by Willie Pepper

Image: supplied.

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