Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) is inviting families in Bourke and surrounding areas to take part in a Welcome to Bourke Community Baby Ceremony on Thursday 14 July.
Open to all infants aged from birth to two years, this year’s ceremony will be the second held following the first in 2021, and will form part of Bourke’s NAIDOC Week celebrations.
Pat Canty, WNSWLHD Manager Aboriginal Partnership in the Aboriginal Health and Wellness Directive, said the ceremony “is incredibly important for our babies, especially for Aboriginal babies, as they can be born away from Bourke and that can impact their cultural ties to the land”.
“Introducing our babies to community is a traditional practice that has been implemented through generations and it dates back thousands of years. The ceremony is a significant event for our babies to connect to our community, Country and also our Aboriginal Elders,” Ms Canty said.
“The community ceremony is open to all babies up to two years old from Bourke and the surrounding villages, it will include a traditional welcome followed by a formal ceremony. Community Elders will lead most of the ceremony, and parents and carers will also play a major role.”
This project is coordinated by the WNSWLHD Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing Directorate and funded by the NSW Ministry of Health. A number of key stakeholders continue to make the free ceremony possible, including all Childhood services and Non-Government Organisations across Bourke.
Ms Canty encouraged all families interested in taking part to register.
“If you would like your baby welcomed to Bourke, please register, as this ensures your child receives a certificate and gift as part of the ceremony,” Ms Canty said.
To register please contact Pat Canty at Bourke Health Service, on 0409246712 or email Patricia.Canty@health.nsw.gov.au, or let a community health staff member know you would like to attend.
Event details: Welcome Baby to Bourke Community
Date: Thursday 14 July 2022
Location: Darling Park, Bourke