Big dance for culture

Dusty Feet Dancers, former AFL players, and a healthy crowd enjoyed a special NAIDOC Week event at the Whyalla Hospital on Tuesday.

Yolanda Croft kicked the event off with a Welcome to Country, and then it was the Dusty Feet Mob show as the dancers performed a number of important songs that emphasised Aboriginal culture.

Those songs included Ernie Dingo’s number “Listen to the News”, the inspirational “My Island Home”, “Amazing Grace”, and an emotional rendition of “Took the Children Away”.

Fittingly, the final song of the performance was “We Are Australian”. As is tradition, those in attendance were brought on stage for a second performance of the song.

After all the dancing had finished, former AFL players Tony Modra from the Adelaide Crows and Troy Bond, Shane Bond, Peter Burgoyne and Wade Thompson from Port Adelaide were busy taking photos and signing autographs.

Modra said he always enjoys coming to Whyalla to celebrate NAIDOC Week.

“I learn different things every year, I love joining in with the Dusty Feet Dancers,” he said.

“For Adelaide and Port Adelaide we are against each other on the field, but this is a chance for us to work together off the field.”

All the footy players took the time to visit patients at the Whyalla Hospital.

“It’s great to visit these hospitals to see how the patients are going and what a marvelous job the staff do there,” Modra said.

As part of the National Aborigine and Islanders Day Observance Committee Week’s theme Because of Her, We Can, a Tree of Life was set up on the hospital grounds. Attendees were encouraged to write the name of an inspirational woman on a leaf and stick it to the tree.

Aboriginal Health Regional Manager Glenise Coulthard said the display brought different people and cultures together in celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

Ms Coulthard praised the Dusty Feet Dancers. “They are really talented. They are going to take our culture forward,” she said.