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Community connection through an ancient practice

Sep. 19, 2022

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The ancient Aboriginal ceremony of Welcoming Babies to Country acknowledges an infant’s connection to the lands on which they are born and invites them to participate as part of the community.

Thirty babies and children were recently welcomed into the Kabi Kabi community by a local Traditional Owner during the Wunya Baby and Child ceremony.

The ceremony, supported by Brisbane North PHN and many other local organisations, was held in Deception Bay in August and attended by 200 members of the children’s families and local community.

Brisbane North PHN’s Program Development Officer, Warwick Pawsey said the ceremony is an integral part of giving the child and their family a sense of belonging and place, as well as a connection to culture and community.

“It is a cultural practice that involves the whole community – men, women, children and extended families.

“During the ceremony, babies and children received kangaroo furs, clap sticks, a traditionally designed headband, books, a certificate and a family photo.

“A highlight of the day was when community members come together to perform some traditional dances.”

Families were called up to the front one at a time and children were given gifts. Children and babies were then welcomed by the Traditional Owner by receiving traditional body paints.

The Wunya Baby and Child ceremony is an event which has grown over the years and is led by local Aboriginal woman Aunty Deb Jackson. Aunty Deb has over 20 years of experience working with children and families and a degree in Indigenous Community Management and Development.

Aunty Deb has been working collaboratively with community partners and communities to embed Aboriginal culture and loves to facilitate important cultural events like the Wunya Baby and Child ceremonies in the Moreton Bay community.

Pictured above: Kangaroo furs received by the children during the Wunya Baby and Child to Country ceremony.


Wunya Baby to Country committee members
Wunya Baby to Country committee members


Aunty Deb Jackson, Wunya Baby and Child Ceremony; and Warwick Pawsey, Program Development Officer, Brisbane North PHN.
Aunty Deb Jackson, organiser, Wunya Baby and Child Ceremony; and Warwick Pawsey, Program Development Officer, Brisbane North PHN.


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