Blue Haven Illawarra | For Our Elders: Connecting to the land and the community for NAIDOC week
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For Our Elders: Connecting to the land and the community for NAIDOC week

Blue Haven clients celebrated a special NAIDOC Week this year, with the theme ‘For our Elders’.

‘For our Elders’ celebrates and pays respect to all Elders, honouring the important role they play as custodians of cultural knowledge and leaders in the wider community.

In the spirit of this theme, Blue Haven’s Seaside Group and children from Kiama Family OOSH (Out of School Hours Care) celebrated NAIDOC Week at the Kiama Community Garden to highlight the importance of intergenerational connections and cultural appreciation.

“Our Elders have played and continue to play an essential role in our communities across generations,” said Marianna Parish, Manager Community Programs.

“Their wisdom and wealth of life experiences inspire and strengthen us. It’s truly special to gather at our local community garden to honour their contributions.”

The celebration featured a performance by the Gumaraa Dance Group, including digeridoo, clapsticks and traditional singing, with the dances mirroring the movements of native animals important to Aboriginal communities.

They learned about Wayapa Wuurrk, an earth connection practice rooted in ancient Indigenous wisdom, from local teacher Jaz Corr.

Wayapa Wuurrk emphasises the significance of caring for the Earth as the foundation for cultivating well-being in mind, body and spirit.

Through a combination of Earth mindfulness, narrative meditation, and proactive efforts to protect the planet, Wayapa provides a sense of belonging to the Earth.

After this, the clients and children paired up to paint river rocks and explore the native edible plants with members of the community garden.

Joe Carter from the Kiama Community Garden said the gardeners and Hillside Landcarers are thrilled to be involved with such a special event.

“We’re delighted the work we’ve been doing for over a decade provides a space ideal for a special event such as this.”

“This opportunity to respectfully share knowledge, experience, history, and community is beautiful. We feel thankful to be involved,” Mr Carter said.

Blue Haven Seaside Group and Kiama Family OOSH thank the Gumaraa Dance Group, Jaz Corr, Kiama Community Garden and Hillside Landcare for supporting this important event.

Blue Haven’s celebration is part of local NAIDOC Week celebrations hosted by Kiama Council, to promote inclusion, diversity and cultural understanding within our community.

Our NAIDOC week celebrations help foster cultural awareness and strengthen community ties.

Further information: NAIDOC Week Kiama Council (

(Photo Credit: Roslyn Richardson)



10th Jul 2023



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