Reconciliation Week was celebrated at the recent NCCMA,“Campfire and Culture” event, on the Trust for Nature’s Quambatook property, “Wanderers Plains”. It proved to be a most successful and well attended occasion.
As with most successful recipes, Master Chef Rob, (Aka NCCMA Project Manager Robyn Mckay), gathered together a diverse range of tasty ingredients, well mixed with good humour, and marinated in a balmy Autumn afternoon. The result was a bountiful banquet of shared activities and experiences.
Mark Olive, “The Black Olive”, for over 30 years Australia’s most celebrated and renowned Indigenous Chef gave the keynote address, outlining some of the opportunities available with the use of genuine Australian foods. To quote Mark, “How many countries have the opportunity to eat their coat of arms?”
Instruction in sand tracks and ochre painting was well patronised . A choice of tour options enabled visitors to inspect the grassland and riparian areas of “Wanderers Plains”.
As the afternoon shadows lengthened, Wamba Wamba (Swan Hill area) man, Ron Murray, engrossed the crowd, combining campfire story telling, and sublime didgeridoo playing. Ron now lives near Castlemaine, in central Victoria on Jaara country and is renowned as a cultural educator, storyteller, musician, didgeridoo maker and wood sculptor.
Mark Olive served up a sumptuous evening meal, included Kangaroo, Emu, Crocodile, and Goat, garnished with a range of Australian herbs and spices. Helping prepare the meal were two indigenous apprentice chef’s, currently completing their training at the Echuca BRIT Campus.
The event culminated with a campfire dance sequence, backed by Ron Murray on didgeridoo, and replete with a spectacular falling star, miraculously choreographed into the performance. A fitting finale to a brilliant day.