The day started with the Yingadi chairperson Vicki Clark welcoming people to Yingadi site followed by welcome to Wadi Wadi land by traditional owner Annette Adams.
Vicki then talked about the importance of the 13th February and the important role the Healing Foundation has in healing the spirit of many Aboriginal People who were forcibly removed from their families. Vicki continued to talk about Yingadi Aboriginal Corporation and that the opening had been sponsored by the Healing Foundation. Vicka also thanked her husband Trevor Clark for all the hard labour and the many hours he spend building the site.
Badges were handed out to everyone from the students from the local Nyah District Primary school and participants were invited to take the material supplied from the Healing Foundation which they all did,
especially school teachers who had just returned from an immersion to Lake Mungo.
As participates sat in a circle guest speaker Aunty Marilyne Nicholls spoke about the importance of healing of the land, individuals and communities.
As Vicki Clark opened the Land, Fire and Water Healing Site, Vicki explained the importance of each of the elements within Aboriginal culture. Three participants of the Mungo Immersion had written reflections around each of these elements which were read after Vicki moved to each of the sites.
Participates were then asked to come and feel the land, fire and water to the sounds of the clapsticks the real healing moment on the day.
People were given a moment for deep quiet reflection to take in how they felt when they touched the elements that Aboriginal people have cherished, respected and cared for at least 40,000 years.
At the conclusion Vicki asked everyone to take in a deep breath and lamented the air we breathe today is the same air her ancestors had breathed for 40,000 years which was repeated.
Uncle Danny Kelly then presented everyone with a Healing Stone as a memento to remember the day, the pain of the stolen generations and the importance of healing.
Listening to the stories of healing told by Aunty Marilyne and the explanation Vicki gave at the start of the day about the role of the Healing Foundation and the pain of the Stolen Generations made it very clear how important it is that the observance of such an important moment in Australia’s history is central to the understanding of our shared history. The Apology and all that it requires of all Australian’s must become and remain an integral part of our shared story.
As the Land, Fire and Water Healing Site was unfolded and celebrated in a positive way. Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people are able to journey as one towards Reconciliation.