A traditional Smoking ceremony marked the official opening of the new Bairnsdale office of Gippsland Primary Health Network on 9 September.
The ceremony was especially significant for two of the Bairnsdale staff members – Kurnai woman Naomi Kenny (Regional Services Officer -Wellington/East Gippsland) and Gunaikurnai-Gunditjimara woman, Cheyenne Mullet-Morris (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander trainee).
Naomi led the ceremony, held in the gardens opposite the new office in Main Street, performing a Welcome to Country before introducing Senior Gunai Elder, Aunty Sandra Patten.
Aunty Sandra also performed a Welcome to Country and conducted the Smoking ceremony, which she said assisted in cleansing the area and the people of bad spirits and promoted the protection and well-being of visitors.
Pictured (below from left) are Kurnai woman, Naomi Kenny, Gunai Elder, Aunty Sandra Patten, Taribelang-Gooreng Gooreng Elder Aunty Colleen Hood and Gunaikurnai-Gunditjimara woman, Cheyenne Mullet-Morris. Also pictured is Aunty Sandra Patten, performing the Smoking ceremony.