Ing Dream Elder’s reality turnsinto
IT MAY have taken 93 years, but Aboriginal elder and Mt Druitt Reconciliation Group founding member Uncle Wes Marne is living a “dream come true”.
The passionate indigenous leader has shared his life’s stories and those of his ancestors around fire buckets across Sydney during this year’s Sydney Festival.
“I’m on top of the world. This is what I’ve always wanted to do and I never thought Id ever get to do it,” Uncle Wes said.
Uncle Wes is a Bidgambul man. When he was nine, the government walked his family off tribal lands from the Stanthorpe Hills to Deadbird Mission, Ashford. The journey took three weeks.
Uncle Wes, 93, said he hoped to do his ancestors proud as he shared stories of his grandfather’s Dreaming, his struggles and triumphs, and life as an elder in Mt Druitt.
He said no night was the same, and he relied on close friend Alicia Talbot to let him know when to wrap things up.
“I go off into my own little world … Alicia gives me a nudge in the arms to let me know when I’ve got to stop,” he said.
Uncle Wes said his stories had been wellreceived so far.
“I’ve had nobody walk out on me, so that’s good,” he said. “Actually, the feedback has been really good.”
Uncle Wes said he found it hard to believe the day had come when he could share his story so openly.
“The Aboriginal culture is the oldest living culture – we need to remember it tells you who you are and where you’re from.
“I’ve never asked anyone for an apology, I just ask they don’t deny what happened.”
Details: sydneyfestival.org.au/2016/ fire-bucket.
Uncle Wes Marne is sharing his stories at this year’s Sydney Festival.