Friday, 21 October 2016

The first sitting of the new Parlaiment

I have mentioned before that a friend was standing for Parliament in the Northern Territory election. I also mentioned that she won her seat.

Parliament had its official first sitting this week.

Selina's family and community turned out to welcome her into the chamber in her new role. I thought you might find these photos interesting.

Selina's mother is from Numbulwar and Selina had gone there to teach. This community is the home of the Red Flag Dancers, an internationally acclaimed company who perform traditional works that belong to their people.

The first photo is of Selina with her parents. You can see the love and pride in the faces of Mick and Didimain. Selina's dress fabric was hand printed by Indigenous Australian artists. This was taken in the Great Hall before the ceremony started.

The second photo is of the dancers bringing Selina into the chamber. You can see that Selina is wearing a special traditional headdress. Originally this would have been woven from pandanus fibre, but these days it is made from acrylic yarn.

The third photo is of the dance company in the Great Hall after the formal ceremony was completed.

To have these dancers present was a massive undertaking and a huge mark of respect. Numbulwar is remote - you can fly there in a light plane, but ... The road, which is not sealed all the way, is cut every the Wet Season. And one year Selina took a group of her students to Cambodia to volunteer at an orphanage. The logistics were incredible. Now this good woman is working for all Territorians.

I wonder if your friends and relatives would do this for you. I know mine would not.

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