Smoking and Flag Raising Ceremony at Alexandra District Health

March 19, 2021
Smoking and Flag Raising Ceremony
‘Close the Gap’ Day – Thursday 18th March 2021

It was an honour to be joined by Shane Monk, proud Taungurung man, to perform a Welcome and Smoking Ceremony at Alexandra District Health on Thursday 18th March. Shane spoke with staff about his culture and heritage and explained how smoking ceremonies are performed to cleanse the land and to cleanse the body of bad spirits.

Joining Shane at the ceremony was Keith Moate, Taungurung man and Sheree Brown, Administration Officer from the Alexandra Office of Taungurung Land & Waters Council.

The ceremony was held in conjunction ‘Close the Gap’ Day and the raising of the Torres Strait Islander Flag. Close the Gap Day is an annual event held to raise awareness of health issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and aims to improve health outcomes and health equity. The front garden was a ‘Sea of Hands’ where people were able to create a personalised hand with a message of support to ‘Close the Health Gap’.

This was a very rewarding experience for those who attended and provided a wonderful opportunity for non-Indigenous people to learn about and pay respect to Aboriginal culture. We thank Shane, Keith and Sheree for sharing this experience with our Health Service.

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