First Indigenous event at Royal Randwick
This article is sponsored by Uniting, the Board of the NSW and ACT Synod of the Uniting Church responsible for the work of community services, chaplaincy and social justice advocacy.
The Aboriginal Housing Company (AHC) held the “Leading the Way” Cultural Race Day on Saturday, June 10 at the Royal Randwick Turf Club. The event launched the AHC’s Leading the Way fund, the core focus of which is to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to enhance their career paths through further education, training and employment opportunities.
Leading the Way aims to offer assistance, scholarships, foundational studies, apprenticeships, and student accommodation at Pemulwuy in Redfern.
Over 300 people attended the event, including community members and elders from the Redfern and La Perouse communities, sponsors, as well as guests. Redfern elder Shirley Lomas delivered an impromptu speech in which she acknowledged Mick Mundine’s vision over many years and expressed her full support for the initiative.
Leading the Way was the first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander event to take place at the Royal Randwick Turf Club. The day opened on the racetrack with a heart-warming and lively Welcome to Country by Bidjigal elder and entertainer Uncle Vic Simms, who then proceeded to provide a Welcome to Country for everyone in the Grand Ballroom.
Highlights of the event, which was hosted by popular TV and radio commentator Brad Cooke, included traditional Aboriginal dances by a group from Lewisham Boys and songs from Vic Simms.
Seven unique silks designed by Aboriginal artists nation-wide were worn by jockeys then auctioned off in the afternoon. The horse Heavenly Anna, whose jockey wore specially designed silks, won race six, the Pemulwuy Handicap.
AHC Chairperson Alisi Tutuila said: “We’re extremely proud about what this fund stands for and we’re thrilled to have received an abundance of support. The AHC would like to thank race day partners Gondwana and Aruma, the Australian Turf Club and the organisations and companies who supported the event.”
For more information about the AHC and its initiatives visit http://www.ahc.org.au/.
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