GIYA/GIA women performed a traditional smoke ceremony today in preparation for the upcoming state election.

Members of the community were invited to the ceremony, which cleansed the land and gave people a chance to reflect and connect with traditional owners.

Wiradjuri woman Juanita Halden said there was a lot of healing that needed to happen in the community and applauded KAP candidate Ciaron Paterson for his policies for indigenous youth.

"There's a lot of Aboriginal offenders in the communities around the North Queensland region," she said.

 

Giya/Gia traditional owners hope to be included in policy decisions after the state election. Picture: Laura Thomas
Giya/Gia traditional owners hope to be included in policy decisions after the state election. Picture: Laura Thomas

"As traditional owners, the Giya/Gia would like a voice when it comes to drafting policy that affects them and their community on their country."

The KAP relocation sentencing policy involves giving indigenous youth offenders a chance to learn about their culture while also working on the land to learn life skills.

Mr Paterson said it was an honour to be invited to the ceremony and stressed the importance of policy guided by traditional owners.

"For me to be part of this today is very special," he said.

Giya/Gia women perform a traditional smoke ceremony in preparation for the upcoming state election. Picture: Laura Thomas
Giya/Gia women perform a traditional smoke ceremony in preparation for the upcoming state election. Picture: Laura Thomas

"It's all about engaging with community and accepting our First Nation community members in our region and all over Australia."

Members of the community were also invited to take part in the smoking ceremony, which Ms Halden said gave them a chance to connect with culture.

"We're just pleased to see so many lovely faces and so many local people attending."

"Everything that's occurred here today is tradition in Aboriginal culture, or as we like to say it, original culture."


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