15 Sep 2021

Elders acknowledged for connecting children to culture

Youth support
Elders from Kabi Kabi / Gubbi Gubbi Country were formally recognized today at an Elders Acknowledgement Lunch highlighted by an address from award-winning author, 92-year-old Aunty Ruth Hegarty.

The 2nd annual event, organised by Churches of Christ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Engagement Officer and proud Iman woman from Iman Country, Dena Dodd-Ugle, thanked Elders for their ongoing work to support young people to be culturally safe and connected to community.
Dodd-Ugle, said, “This event is an opportunity to thank local Elders for all that they do to build resilience in our kids and connect them to their culture.”
Event honouree and Elder, Aunty Ruth, of Gungarri Country (Mitchell) shared her personal experience  as a member of the Stolen Generation and the essential role Elders play in keeping their culture and spirit alive, especially for young people. 
“Our mob have been here many thousands of years and sharing our traditions, our wisdom, our hopes and our experiences with young people will help build their future.
“They are our future.”
Dodd-Ugle echoed Aunty Ruth’s comments, saying, “The time our Elders spend with young people helps them connect to their culture, to their community and to take pride in the knowledge that we are the oldest known civilisation on Earth.
“Elders take our kids on excursions and camping trips to Country where they share our traditions, culture, languages and Dreamtime stories.
Dodd-Ugle explains the work the Elders do benefits the wider Churches of Christ organisation in addition to the young people directly. 
“Elders also share their knowledge and wisdom with our organisation to make sure our team takes the time to understand significant events, such as Sorry Day, Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week; building cultural awareness within our organisation and the broader community.
“To be able to acknowledge the wonderful and important work our Elders do with a celebratory day shared with traditional dancers and singers, community groups and such a powerful guest speaker with Aunty Ruth Hegarty, was truly an honour.”
Aunty Ruth, well known for her non-fiction titles, such as Is that you, Ruthie?, was awarded at the 1998 Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards and also the Queensland Greats Awards.
For further information about services provided by Churches of Christ, please visit: www.ittakesacommunity.com.au