Speech to Parliament: Aboriginal Markets and Indigenous Workshops

Yesterday I had the great privilege of attending the inaugural Aboriginal Markets and Workshops at the historic Bare Island in our community.

The markets are an initiative of the First Hand Solutions Aboriginal Corporation to raise funds for the Aboriginal Community youth programs and to revive La Perouse as an historic Aboriginal tourist destination.

Hundreds of locals and tourists joined local Bidjigal elders for a traditional smoking ceremony and dancing performances to open the markets. Patrons then entered the historic island fort where the markets are situated and there are a number of stalls for people to visit.

One of the stallholders includes Laddie Timbery, whose family have been selling artefacts at the loop at La Perouse for 188 years, surely one of the oldest businesses in Australia.

Workshops included spear making, basket weaving, shell design, plenty for the kids to do with reptiles provided by the local famous Cann family, George Cann and his son John were once the local snake men, and they provided plenty of entertainment for the kids.

The markets are on the first Sunday of every month at Bare Island from 9am to 4pm and I encourage any visitors to Sydney to get down and visit this historic significant event.

I congratulate Peter Cooley, Sarah Martin and the board and volunteers of First Hand Solutions.

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