Corroboree in the snow

It is known as the 'Roof of Australia' or the 'snow country' but for many thousands of years before the Polish explorer Pawel Strzlecki climbed to the highest mountain in its range the original Ngarigo people of the Snowy Mountains lived and flourished on its peaks and slopes.

With a fundamental understanding of the unique mountain environment Aboriginal people would gather in spring and summer to perform ceremonies, hunt, exchange knowledge and tell the stories of their ancestors after the harsh winter weather had abated.

National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee or NAIDOC has become synonymous with the observation of what was once National Aborigines Day and while most of its activities across the rest of Australia are confined to a week long period in July, in keeping with the unusual alpine climate in the Snowy Mountains the community will be commemorating this day on Sunday October 20 at the Claypits Ampitheatre in Jindabyne.

Lisa Gibb the Snowy Mountains Neighborhood Centre co-ordinator for this event said, "This is a day for us to celebrate the uniqueness of this very special country and learn more about it from the original people. This is an occasion for everyone to participate in and enjoy regardless of where they come from."

Entertainment will include the famous Doonooch Dancers whose lauded traditional style of performance has seen them work with the likes of actor David Hasselhoff, star of the American TV series Knight Rider and Baywatch, and NRL star Luke Kelly.

There will be stalls featuring some of the history of Ngarigo people along with demonstrations of other Aboriginal cultural practices. There will be activities for children to participate in and of course a sausage sizzle.

The day will begin with an official Welcome to Country by a Ngarigo Elder at 11am at the Jindabyne 'Claypits' Ampitheatre. Everyone is welcome.

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