Ing Dream El­der’s re­al­ity turnsinto

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS -

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.

Pic­ture: DAVID SWIFT

Un­cle Wes Marne is shar­ing his sto­ries at this year’s Syd­ney Fes­ti­val.

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