Joining in the nationwide dance in Woolbrook

TIME TO HEAL: Dunghutti Wutu the traditional custodians of Wolka and Woolbrook gather to dance and sing on country on December 1, 2019.
TIME TO HEAL: Dunghutti Wutu the traditional custodians of Wolka and Woolbrook gather to dance and sing on country on December 1, 2019.

A nation-wide dance on country, the first event of its kind in Australia's history, took place across the country last Sunday and members of the Dunghutti nation gathered in Woolbrook.

From 11am families, painted in traditional ochre and led by Dunghutti elder Uncle Fred Reid, rehearsed and held a smoking ceremony before taking part in a simultaneous nation-wide dance at 1pm.

Uncle Fred said Nation Dance was the idea of a brother from Queensland called Alwyn Doolan, a Gooreng Gooreng and Wakka Wakka man.

It was really good to be a part of it and I felt the energy

Uncle Fred Reid

"I believe his ancestors gave him the idea of bringing us all together to dance on the same date at the same time," he said.

"The reason being for the healing of the land and a lot of other things like the trauma we have all faced. It was really good to be a part of it, and I felt the energy and with much respect to the elders for being there and being part of a very special day."

Aunty Kathy Kelly from the Kempsey area of Dunghutti was also part of the corroboree and she sang songs that had been passed down to her from previous generations.

our land is thirsty, our animals are thirsty and so are our people

Aunty Kathy Kelly

"I am a Dunghutti woman, and my people are from Bellbrook, and we are here today because the Woolbrook River is the Macleay River which also flows into our part of the Macleay River in Dunghutti country in Kempsey.

"We are here today with the help wahroomperah yowha - the creator of all things, to let our creator bring rain on mother earth because our land is thirsty, our animals are thirsty and so are our people.

"Everybody that drank the water from this great land of ours becomes one of us, and this is why we are here. It's good to be amongst mob and visitors for this important event to bring our country back to life - may the tears of rain fall from the heavens to help us heal our earth. If the downpour doesn't come today, it will come in the near future."

The Nation Dance called on the more than 400 indigenous nations within Australia to dance as one in time across the continent.