INDIGENOUS CULTRE: Grandparents and children from Gummyaney Aboriginal Pre-school share experiences at the Grandparents Morning Tea at the Clarence Valley Aboriginal Healing and Support Service.
INDIGENOUS CULTRE: Grandparents and children from Gummyaney Aboriginal Pre-school share experiences at the Grandparents Morning Tea at the Clarence Valley Aboriginal Healing and Support Service. Tim Howard

Grandparents Day recognises the special roles they play

GRANDPARENTS play a special role in the lives of everyone, but for indigenous people there is an almost sacred aspect to them.

The three Clarence Valley peoples, the Yaegl, Bundjalung and Gumbaingyrr, celebrated this role this week with a Grandparents Day at the Clarence Valley Aboriginal Healing and Support Service, Gurehlgam, in Grafton on Wednesday.

Healing centre co-ordinator Janelle Brown said the day was designed to thank grandparents for their role in passing on knowledge to young people.

"As the story tellers and the holders of knowledge of our culture, it's their role to pass that down to the children," Ms Brown said.

She said grandparents also played a more pragmatic role, providing child care while parents were at work.

"It can be a thankless task," Ms Brown she said.

"Grandparents can often be the main care-givers for young people and it's not always an easy role."

Ms Brown said the day also celebrated the role of grandchildren in their culture.

"We're celebrating them as the people who will carry on that knowledge into the future," she said.

Children from Gummyaney Aboriginal Pre-School enjoyed hearing stories and music from Aboriginal artists and elders from the Valley.

"We also had some students from South Grafton High School to show the children some traditional Aboriginal games," Ms Brown said.

"The catering was done by the Acmena Juvenile Justice Centre and included some bush tucker and medicine."



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