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Welcoming First Nations babies to Awabakal Country

Welcoming First Nations babies to Awabakal Country

This week, our partner Awabakal hosted four Baby Welcoming Ceremonies across the Hunter region, to welcome the next generation of First Nations children into the community.

The cultural event began with a traditional smoking ceremony followed by a blessing from Awabakal Elders using ochre to anoint each baby. Families were also gifted with a printed copy of their baby photo as a memento, which will be proudly displayed at Awabakal’s local medical clinics.

After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, Awabakal was excited to bring back the ceremonies and support First Nations youth to connect to country and community. The ceremonies signify the tradition of introducing new babies to the community so that the children grow up knowing their identity and connection to country.  

It also signifies the families’ beginning of their relationship with Awabakal, who have delivered culturally safe infant and maternal health programs to the community for almost 30 years.

Awabakal view the ceremonies as a lifelong commitment to providing the best medical and community services they can offer to their people. Creating strong bonds early, and bringing awareness to the health and social services that they offer, means they can have the greatest impact on the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth and their families

We were proud to provide funding for the four ceremonies throughout the week, as part of our ongoing partnership with Awabakal to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth health and wellbeing.

The Baby Welcoming Ceremonies also coincided with National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day, which recognises the impact that culture, family and community play in the life of every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child.

Find out more about our partnership with Awabakal.

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