Upper Hunter Shire Council hosts Contemporary Weaving Workshop in partnership with Wanaruah Local Aboriginal Land Council

CHILDREN in the Upper Hunter had a hands-on opportunity to learn about indigenous culture this week.

To celebrate NAIDOC Week, more than 70 community members joined Rosslyn 'Roz' Thomson from the Wanaruah Local Aboriginal Land Council for two contemporary weaving workshops at Upper Hunter Shire Council's Scone Administration Centre on Tuesday.

More than 50 children attended the morning session, with a session aimed at adults attracting around 15 people the same afternoon.

Roz, who has been a part of the NAIDOC committee at Wanaruah Local Aboriginal Land Council for five years, kept everyone very busy using raffia to make dolls and bracelets.

Her sister, Tash Kellet presented an interactive bush skills workshop where participants learnt about traditional tools, skins and hides.

Participants also learnt to make fire from sticks and a gunyah, which is a small, temporary shelter, traditionally used by Australian Aboriginals, with a standing tree usually used as the main support.

Roz said she picked up the contemporary weaving skills through her involvement in the Wanaruah Local Aboriginal Land Council.

The Scone workshop was her first time hosting a group of her own and she said those present were very enthusiastic and enjoyed working with the raffia.

"We had a repatriation back in April and we had four children come back to us... four ancestors that are not very old," she said.

"We were giving them little gifts and I got asked to make a doll, so I made some dolls for them.

"Then everyone said I should do a workshop on it.

"So that's how it all came about."

As part of their ongoing NAIDOC Week celebrations the Wanaruah Local Aboriginal Land Council will host two art workshops with Aunty Denise Hedges on Monday July 15 and Tuesday July 16 from 10am to 1pm.

Places are limited and booking is essential. Call Roz on 6543 1288

NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.