Smoking ceremony welcomes Bougainville leader

The Sandon Point Aboriginal Tent Embassy at Sandon Point Bulli. PHOTO: Green Left.

The Sandon Point Aboriginal Tent Embassy at Sandon Point Bulli. PHOTO: Green Left.

A SMOKING ceremony at Sandon Point Aboriginal Tent Embassy (SPATE) today (Saturday) will welcome a leader of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

Autonomous Bougainville Government former President (2009-2010) James Tanis will visit the Embassy for discussions on autonomous regional governance and customary land.

While visiting the Australian National University in Canberra Mr Tanis expressed interest in visiting the Bulli embassy to understand the struggles Aboriginal people continue to face on their land in Australia’s political environment.

Stop Coal Seam Gas (CSG) Illawarra campaigner and Aboriginal Embassy Ambassador Lyle Davis is fighting strongly against CSG threats to Yuin people’s several occupations, cultural heritage, land, water and air quality and is determined to assert customary land values and form alliances toward community self governance that can stop unconventional gas mining.

“Alliances with Aboriginal Sovereignty, Lock the Gate and the Stop CSG campaigns could strengthen the core of the fight which is against the crowns claim to minerals and gas in our ground against the wishes and customs of the Yuin Nations first people’s,” Mr  Davis said.

SPATE continues court action to protect ancient heritage in the area (a declared Aboriginal Place through National Parks) and fighting for the protection of habitat for endangered birds and animals.

SPATE Ambassador Roy Kennedy said the embassy on the banks of Tramway Creek continues to function as a meeting place for a range of cultural, ceremonial, ecological and educational activities, which is reinforced by diplomatic visits in international indigenous affairs like this weekend’s by Mr Tanis.

The welcome ceremony at 12pm will be followed by introductions and a discussion circle during the afternoon.

About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.


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