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Connection with country highlighted by Archie Roach

More than 300 people attended the performance at Mungo National Park, which was part of a project jointly developed by Murray and Western Local Land Services and coordinated by the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH).

Aboriginal Communities Officer with Western Local Land Services, Ronni O'Donnell said the performance highlighted the spiritual connection Aboriginal people have with country.

"It was wonderful to see both young and old people clapping along, dancing and enjoying themselves with family and friends at such a beautiful place," Ms O'Donnell said. 

"People have gathered in this area for thousands of years to celebrate and strengthen their culture and last night was a continuation of that tradition, with that added bonus that people were genuinely touched by Archie's presence and his music."

OEH will develop a strategic document to help build a better understanding of the connection to country that Aboriginal people have in the area.

"This understanding will assist in guiding Western Local Land Services in future projects and keep Aboriginal people's connection to this country in the forefront of people's minds throughout the community," Ms O'Donnell said.

"Local landholders have an important role to play and also have their own connection to country.

"This project will highlight that connection and the responsibility people feel they have for the land."

Mungo National Park has a strong cultural significance for Aboriginal people and has been a central meeting place and celebration area for thousands of years.

"It was a natural choice when we wanted to bring people together to talk about country," Ms O'Donnell said.

"Playing out that connection through song and stories has always been part of Aboriginal culture and Archie Roach is very accomplished at expressing that connection.

"Large groups of people travelled from throughout the region to share Archie's journey and hear his stories about the importance of country and the relationship each of us has to the landscape."

Archie Roach is recognised as a powerful voice for Aboriginal Australians and as a storyteller in the tradition of his ancestors.

He received an international Human Rights Achievement Award for his song Took the Children Away, whichwas about the treatment of the Aboriginal children of his generation.

Anyone who didn't attend the concert but would like to be involved in future events can phone Ronni O'Donnell on 02 5021 9429 or email ronni.odonnell@lls.nsw.gov.au.

Media contact:          Maree Barnes 0427 256814 or Ronni O'Donnell 0409 334956