One of the highlights of Reconciliation Week in Canberra has been a performance of dance, song, storytelling and language from the Wiradjuri Echoes.

29 May 2019

The Wiradjuri Echoes are a family group established in the late 1990s by Duncan Smith. The group –
Which features his children Jakida, Nakiya, Bevan and Dylan – perform together to share their culture.

The group impart traditional knowledge through song, dance and language to pre-schoolers right up to high school and university students.

'Dad always said that the echo is because we're echoing into the future,' Nakiya told ABC radio. 'The art, dance, music all comes from Wiradjuri because dad's Wiradjuri.'

'To me it's not work, going out with your family every day,' Dylan told ABC radio. 'We take a lot of pride in what we do.'

'Dad always wanted us in culture so it's kept us really grounded and kept us in school and doing things we love,' Bevan told ABC radio.

Bevan believes the Wiradjuri Echoes' performances are an important part of teaching tolerance.

'When I was in school the culture wasn't there, people didn't understand my heritage. Now you see the kids, they soak it up like a big sponge, they love it,' Bevan said. 'They've always got a big smile on their faces. It's definitely the way to break down racial barriers.'

Nakiya said the most rewarding part was seeing the students learn Aboriginal language and culture.

'The kids get to know all the different artefacts and the language that comes with it and eventually, after we keep going back, they start knowing the language and they know what it's called,' Nakiya said.

Hear more about the Wiradjuri Echoes in this video:

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