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Benetas marks Reconciliation Week at Dalkeith Heights Retirement Village

27th May 2021

To acknowledge Reconciliation Week, employees and residents of Benetas Dalkeith Heights Retirement Village and Dalkeith Gardens residential aged care home in Traralgon, have enjoyed a traditional Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony alongside local Gunaikurnai peoples.

The Welcome to Country was conducted by local Elder Uncle Lloyd, followed by a traditional smoking ceremony conducted by Gunaikurnai man Nicky Moffat. In addition, a commemorative plaque was unveiled, formally acknowledging the Gunaikurnai people as the traditional custodians of the land.

Benetas CEO Sandra Hills OAM said this was a great opportunity for the Dalkeith Heights and Dalkeith Gardens community, who live and work on Gunaikurnai Country, to come together and pay their respects to the First Nations people.

“This is the third Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony for the Benetas community, having previously hosted events at Corowa Court in the Mornington Peninsula and St Paul’s Terrace in Frankston,” she said.

“Acknowledging the traditional owners of the land where we work and live is an important step for our community, and an ideal way to mark Reconciliation Week and move a step closer towards reconciliation.”

The theme for Reconciliation Week this year is More than a word. Reconciliation takes action.

Gunaikurnai Elder Uncle Lloyd said, “When I saw so many Dalkeith residents coming forward to participate in the smoking ceremony it reminded me again that reconciliation is about the actions people take, it’s not just about words.”

Reconciliation Week happens on the same days each year. The week begins on the 27th of May marking the anniversary of the successful 1967 referendum.

The close of Reconciliation Week falls on the 3rd of June. This is the anniversary of the Australian High Court delivering the Mabo decision in 1992, leading to the legal recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the traditional owners and custodians of these lands.

Find out more about Benetas' Dalkeith Heights Retirement Village.