January Newsletter 2017
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Mullum Mullum Indigenous Gathering Place
January Newsletter 2017

General Manager’s Corner
Welcome to our newsletter

Please find enclosed a snapshot of the activities we have provided or been a part of for the last six months. As you can see we have all been having fun. Many thanks to our community for being part of and also leading our activities.

Congratulations to Aunty Lois Peeler AM  for being selected as the 2017 Victorian Senior Australian of the Year and Australian Senior of the Year nomination. Congratulations also to the MMIGP Choir for the 2016 NADIOC award, MMIGP Hip-hop crew for their performances through out the year and to our artists (community art, mosaic and screen printing activities) for their donations to our Gala Dinner.

MMIGP Gala Dinner
The Gala Dinner held in November provided an opportunity to show case our Mob.  We raised close to $40,000 to go towards our efforts to buy land and build our own Cultural / Gathering Place.  Our Chairperson Karen Milward’s leadership and direction was instrumental in us raising the donations. Karen was greatly assisted strategically by our Board and operationally by our staff.  Thank you also to our volunteers on the night. We hope everyone had a great time.

Indigenous Voices
We will continue with our series of Indigenous Voices. These will take place over the next six months. I will be asking our local Elders and Elders from other regions to be part of our Indigenous Voices. Keep an eye out on Face Book for up dates.

Building and strengthening on our networks;
Thank you to Maroondah City Council (MCC) for inviting MMIGP and community Elders to be part of the Council Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Committee. Our relationship is growing stronger as we work together to improve opportunities to support one another. MCC has actively supported us at Trivia Nights and our Gala Dinner.  MMIGP held a stall at MCC festival in November where our Hip-hop crew performed 3 times throughout the day. Our Indigenous Artist collective with be exhibiting in March 2017 at Federation Estate with assistance from MCC.
We continue to work together with our long term friends at EACH. We value our relationship and the support provided to Mullum and our community.

Community Capacity Building;
This year we will be working towards a number of different business proposals to assist our community with full time and part time employment. We are also open to suggestions on any business opportunities our community think may be successful. Please talk to Georgia about your suggestions.

Home Work Club
Many thanks to Worawa Aboriginal College for donating iPads and PCs for use at our home work group. The donations will enable us to loan iPads to students and to equip families with PC’s for the students to use at home.  The home work club will be supported by two tutors.

Kind regards                                           
Les Chessells
General Manager
Indigenous Community Links
Mosaic Art
At the most simple definition, mosaic is "a picture or other design constructed from smaller pieces". As well as the subject and style of the design, it is the choice of materials, plus the skill in creating and placing the pieces that contribute to the personal, artistic and practical value of the mosaic.
Mosaic Art inspired creativity, laughter and in some people a little OCD.  Each Monday morning a group of passionate community members came together to create some amazing Mosaic masterpieces.  From humble beginners stumbling our way through the finer details of Mosaic by the last workshop many of those artists that participated in this program had produced some fantastic pieces.  The round circle pieces are bird baths that will hopefully attract some colourful and very grateful bird life through out the warm summer months.  The pot plants will hold some beautiful plants and take pride of place in backyards across the eastern region.
Community Lunch
Throughout 2016 MMIGP opened it’s doors to Community members, family, friends and local service providers the first Monday of each month to come and share lunch.  Community Lunch is an opportunity for engagement between our Community and the wider local community.  MMIGP provide the space for sharing information, meeting new people and celebrating culture.  Thank you to all the local services, community members and friends that came along to our Community Lunches in 2016.
Screen Printing
Screen printing is one of the early methods of printing. It involves the passing of ink or any other printing medium through a mesh or 'screen' that has been stretched on a frame, and to which a stencil has been applied. The stencil openings determine the image that will thus be imprinted. 
MMIGP ran screen printing workshops over a 5 week period in conjunction with The Basin Neighbourhood House.  The workshops became very popular with Community and some amazing art works were produced.  It had been over 7 years since screen printing had be offered as a program at MMIGP, and judging on how popular the sessions were, we better not wait another 7 years to run this program again.  Those that participated became very creative and by the end of the program were producing t-shirts, bags and artwork to keep and in some cases give away as Christmas presents to friends and family.  Thankyou to Jo from The Basin Neighbourhood house for facilitating the workshops and sharing her extensive knowledge and expertise in screen printing.
Unlocking Technology
With so many choices and changes to Technology, options for phones and tablets, laptops and computers with so many apps and social media changes, it can be hard to keep up.  So during 2016 MMIGP ran some Unlocking Technology workshops to provide some training and advice around the use of technology.  Thank you to Karen George from Coonara Neighbourhood house for helping to facilitated the workshops and provide some much need guidance around the world that is Technology.
Indigenous Voices 
Story telling and oral communication has long been valued and used widely with in Aboriginal Communities.  Sharing stories and history was the main aim for the Indigenous Voices program.  Each speaker gave us a glimpse into their journey, from childhood, through adulthood with all the ups and downs, success and sadness that life can bring.
Aunty Zeta Thomson provided us an insight into her family and growing up on the Cummeragunja Mission and the river bank in Mooroopna .  Some things we didn’t know about Aunty Zeta is that she featured as a model for the car ‘Zeta’ and that she was the first Aboriginal artist to exhibit at the Melbourne Museum (Bujilaka).
Aunty Daphne Milward shared stories of her time working in the Public Service and how she would often come off the bench for Uncle Doug Nicholls and represent Uncle Doug and the Advancement League at meetings all across the country.  Aunty Daphne also developed her own manufacturing business and made lamp shades which sold at Myer
Uncle David Farrall shared his ongoing commitment to building cultural strength and knowledge within the community here in the Eastern Region.  Uncle David although a  Full Time Fire Fighter always found time for his community and has sat on many boards and been involved in the development of a number of services and organisations here in the Eastern region.
Uncle John Baxter shared his story of growing up in a Foster home here in Melbourne along way from his family and community.  Uncle John shared with us his continued support for Reconciliation and acknowledging the past to make changes for the future
Marc Williams shared his story of growing up with a Non Indigenous family after his mother passed away.  Marc shared his journey of still piecing together his family tree and shared the story of meeting a Cousin at Camp Jungai, the cousin recognised Marc by the way he walked.
Aunty Lou Baulch took us on her journey of growing up in Gippsland and how she supported her parents by helping look after her siblings.  Aunty Lou moved to Melbourne to be become and Nurse and Midwife.  Aunty Lou also owned her own Nursery specialising in Tasmanian Ferns.

Community Christmas Party

What a great way to end 2016 with everyone together celebrating Christmas.  The annual Community Christmas party was full of laughter, fun and celebration.  With plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained, the sun shinning and the Christmas spirit in the air, everyone who attended the day had  a great time.
The highlights from the day included, the snake and lizard sharing (well not a highlight for all, there are many of us not fond of snakes), jumping castle, bungee run, face painting, fairy floss, slushie, photo booth and of course a visit from Santa.
A huge thank you to the Hip-hop crew and Choir for providing some entertainment throughout the day.

MMIGP Gala Dinner

The MMIGP Gala Dinner  for 2016 was once again a chance for us to showcase the amazing work MMIGP undertake within the community. The Gala Dinner was again the  major fundraising event for 2016 and all the proceeds are going to the MMIGP Building Fund.
The amazing performances provided by our community were the highlight of the evening and showcased not only the amazing talent we have here within the community but also some of the work MMIGP undertake.  The Girls Youth Cultural Group  provided an insight into their learnings from through out the year and was showcased through their dance performance.  The Hip Hop Crew brought some energy to the room with their routine and finally the Choir provided a fantastic performance. 
Thank you to Elder Aunty Zeta Thomson for the warm and inviting Welcome to County.
The night was MC’d by Andrew Peters who provided a welcoming and warming approach to the evening and made sure we kept on track.  The Deans provided the main entertainment for  the evening and by the end of the night had people up on the dance floor
A huge thank you to all those who donated items for the silent Auction, especially Amanda Wright who donated several pieces of her artwork, Dreamtime Art, Karen Milward Consulting, Rose Solomon, Kerry Thompson (painted emu eggs) and Lawrence Moser (carved emu eggs), Medibank Private, Aunty Irene Norman, Kylie Quirk and William Glenbar.
A huge thank you to all those who donated items for the silent Auction, especially Amanda Wright who donated several pieces of her artwork, Dreamtime Art, Karen Milward Consulting, Rose Solomon, Kerry Thompson (painted emu eggs) and Lawrence Moser (carved emu eggs), Medibank Private, Aunty Irene Norman, Kylie Quirk and William Glenbar.
A huge thankyou to Aunty Irene Norman for the beautiful centrepieces and the Men’s Group for their assistance. 
The night was a huge success and we appreciate the ongoing support from all those who attended the evening or provided a donation including;
  • Community Elders
  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • Department of Justice
  • Maroondah City Council
  • Wendy and Roger
  • Whittlesea City Council
  • EACH
  • Yarra Valley Water
  • Richard Hoy
  • Urbis
  • Boorndawan William Aboriginal Healing Service
  • Oz Child
  • Sodexo
  • Eastern Health
  • William Glenbar
  • Indigenous Family Violence Regional Advisory Group
  • Crowe Horwath
  • Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Youth Network

Hip Hop Crew 
To the community of Mullum Mullum,
2016 was another amazing year for the Mullum Hip-Hop Crew.
We had another performance at the 2016 Mullum Gala Dinner, which we did amazing at.
At the end of 2016 we all decided to go out to dinner to celebrate another successful year.  
Christelle unfortunately has decided to leave the Mullum Hip-Hop Crew due to school commitments. Anthony will be participating in 2017 which is going to be exciting, we always need more participants.
We now have two leaders to help run the Mullum Hip-Hop Crew. The leaders are Chloe and Kayn. During 2017 there will be other roles to fill.
This year has probably been our biggest year for performing. We performed at the 2016 Mullum Gala dinner, Belgrave Survival day, NAIDOC Week, MMIGP Community Christmas Party, Maroondah Council RAP Consultation at the Karralyka Centre, and Maroondah festival., with three performances throughout the day.
We have now been dancing for 2 years straight and every year we get better, stronger, and more confident. During 2017 we are going to introduce some new dances which will be interesting. 
We are looking forward to getting our performance T-Shirts this year and practicing at a studio which will be very different to where we practice now. The studio will have mirrors so that we can see ourselves move and watch ourselves dance.
In the future, we hope to see ourselves perform at much bigger performances such as Australia’s Got talent, MCG Dreamtime Match or even at the Sydney Opera House.
We don’t have a logo yet but we are hoping to sort that out this year.
We will be getting a new dance teacher this year so it’s going to be exciting to see what we can do.           
Well Done again everyone did amazingly this year.
I would like to thank the staff for helping us out and letting us perform at the 2016 gala dinner.
But big thanks to Les and Kasey for helping us out at every practice, and for giving of your time to look after us and allowing us to practice and perform.    
Looking forward for this year, hope to see you there.  Please see the flyer for more details
Kind Regards, Kayn Milward        
School Holiday Program
Throughout 2016 the Youth Network have participated in a number of programs and activities including;
· Healesville Hedge End Maze
· Gumbuya Park
· Cultural Days at Blackburn Lake
· Paint Ball
· Darrangeeyt Festival of Tennis
· Indigenous Soccer Clinic
· Jump Deck
Culture Group
MMIGP Culture Group is available for all Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander school aged children. Culture Group gives children the opportunity to learn about culture and instill culture, knowledge and values and allows them to build confidence in themselves and their culture.
Over the past year we have had our Culture Group dancers perform at MMIGP’s Gala Dinner in front of an audience of 150 plus people. 
In 2017 the activities will involve a new culture group structure which will include visits to significant local sites as well as a Cultural camp planned for all regular Culture Group participants, likely to occur in April 2017.
Culture Group Camp
April 2016 the Youth Group took a trip to Hall’s Gap (Gariwerd)  where they visited Branbruk Cultural centre and did a range of Cultural Activities where they were greeted with a “Welcome to Country” by Uncle Bill and were shown how traditional tools were used, along with the story of Bunjil which was shown in the theatre room.  Children also had the opportunity to paint and learn how to throw boomerangs.  In the evenings the youth sat around the fire where stories were shared.  
Over next few days the youth spent exploring Halls Gap and what it had to offer and on the last day they spent taking in the beautiful views overlooking the amazing landscapes.
Youth Network
The youth group also worked with students from Melbourne University where they took part in a range of different activities such as healthy food and nutrition, in which they cooked a 3 course meal with students. Youth also participated in physical activities and learnt about the importance of fitness in their daily routine which the children thoroughly enjoyed.
Mullum’s Youth group program  is for young people high school and above.   Activities  participated in during the year included, Ten Pin Bowling, Lazer Tag, Go Kart Racing, mini golf, jump deck and information and networking with Croydon Police Outreach Team - Stuart, Aldery and Peter.

Trivia Night

Friday, 27th May marked MMIGP’s fourth annual Trivia Night.  Reconciliation Week provided the back drop for celebrating and raising money for the MMIGP Building Fund.  The evening was a chance for stakeholders, friends, board and staff to come together in the spirit of fundraising for a great night of fun, catch up and trivia. 
Congratulations to EACH and Chairperson Karen Milward and friends for winning the evening.  Thank you to everyone who donated items for the Silent Auction Amanda Wright, Trevor Pearce, Peter Wilson, Deadly Design, Kylie Quirk, Christine Penver, SES, Kings Swim , Roxanne Johnson, Judy Tozer and Michael Sukkar.
Thanks to our friends from EACH , Reconciliation Victoria, Department of Justice, Coonara Community House, VACCA Eastern , Crowe Horwath, Department of Health and Human Services, Maroondah City Council, Tony Clark, Department of Health and Human Services, University of Melbourne and the following local reconciliation groups  Knox Tr@k, Manningham , Whitehorse, Maroondah and Casey.  Without your support the night could not happen. We are grateful for your individual donations and participation.
Thanks to our MC - Andrew Peters for his time and expertise on the night.  Thanks to our volunteers on the night Uncle David , and Aunty Anne, for their time to help set up, pack up and help make the night a huge success.  And of course finally a huge thankyou to the MMIGP staff for their dedicated work in making the night another hugely successful fundraiser.
Another great night with over 150 people in attendance, raising $6,500 towards our building fund.

MMIGP Community Choir

With a number of Community performances and invited guests to a number of events, forums and functions it has been an extremely busy and productive year for the MMIGP Choir.  Some of the highlights for 2016 include;
· NAIDOC Week in Echuca performing at the Echuca Hospital.  Not only has the word spread to the border about how amazing the choir is, the trip to Echuca was a chance for the choir to visit Cummeragunja Mission where some of the Choir members families grew up.  The trip was a chance to share culture, share music and for the choir to bond.
· Community events included the MMIGP Reconciliation BBQ, Eastern Region NAIDOC Ball, Cultural Day at Blackburn Lake, MMIGP Gala Dinner and the MMIGP Christmas Party
· MMIGP have a growing relationship with some local services and organisations and the choir continued to form some of these relationships by supporting local events including Maroondah Council Reconciliation Action Plan consultation, EACH AGM, ACU celebrations and the Monash Elders Luncheon.
Looking forward to 2017 the Choir hope to introduce some new songs, some even written by Choir members, start to develop a CD and work on introducing new music, instruments and members to the Choir.
The Choir are always looking for new members from within our Community, so if you love the idea of singing outside of your shower or car, enjoy working in a team environment and thrive on the adrenaline of performing then maybe joining the MMIGP Choir is for you.


‘Songlines: The living narrative of our nation’
The annual MMIGP NAIDOC Family Day was full of community spirit, cultural activities and lots of family fun.  The day started with raising the flag facilitated by Uncle David Farrall, smoking ceremony conducted by Brad Smith and Chris Hume and an acknowledgment to Country by Aunty Daphne Milward
The day was a chance for community to celebrate culture, to bring family together to share a meal and to enjoy the day.  The Cultural activities provided a chance for some creative talents to emerge.  Boomerang making, painting and story telling was a huge hit with the young people.  Thanks to Brad and Chris for facilitating this activity
Lunch time provided a chance for people to catch up with one another and share in a delicious roast provided by Hot Rods.
Thanks again to all those who volunteered their time to help out and to the staff and board for their ongoing support and assistance through out the day.
Eastern Region NAIDOC Ball
Once again a brilliant night was spent celebrating culture and honouring those within the Eastern Region Community who have gone above and beyond throughout the year.  Congratulations to the MMIGP Choir for receiving the NADOC Ball 2016 Art Award.  It was a huge thrill for the choir and they were hugely appreciative of receiving the award.  The Choir continue to work hard at producing music and performances for all to enjoy and being recognised for their continued work was a huge honour. 
Thank you to the NAIDOC Ball Committee for your continued support of this  yearly event, your hard work and dedication to making this a must attend event year after year is greatly appreciated by both the Board and Staff at MMIGP but also by the wider Eastern Region Community.

Local Koori Justice Worker

It has been a busy though productive year in the justice unit. This half of the year has seen 36 new community members requesting assistance with justice related issues.
My primary role as Justice worker is to assist community members with unpaid fines, infringement warrants, applying for special circumstances and revocation of fines.  There has been an identified need in this area so two Legal Advisory days were organised at HICSA in Healesville and MMIGP. The Sheriff’s Office, Infringement Court, Legal Aid and Eastern Legal Community Centre attended these days. It was an opportunity for community members to address their unpaid fines and seek legal advice on the spot. The days were successful so will be occurring again in 2017.
It has also been an advantage working in partnership with the Sheriff’s Aboriginal Liaison Worker who is in the position to support a community member directly with a Sheriff on site. If a community member is not comfortable with attending the Sheriff’s Office to deal with their unpaid fines, a more suitable space can be provided at a culturally sensitive and private space such as at MMIGP.
As part of my role I am available to advise, support or refer community members to appropriate services such as Boorndawan, Each, Aboriginal Health, Ngwala and others. It has been important to maintain relationships and partnerships with such organisations so we can provide culturally appropriate services to our community members. I will be looking at strengthening these relationships further in 2017.
I have on several occasions provided support to community members to attend Court for issues that have arisen with unpaid fines, diversions, criminal matters, family incidents, warrants etc. Both victims and perpetrators. I have supported them throughout the legal process by organising appointments with Legal Aid, referrals, and advice. Often the community member does not have additional support and have requested that I sit with them in the Court as it can be a daunting process.
A highlight for this half of the year was attending a State-wide Justice Forum held in Traralgon. It was an opportunity for Justice workers get together and discuss issues and achievements. We had brainstorming sessions and shared many stories which gave us all ideas and energy on how we can further develop our own individual programs. We also had the opportunity to spend the day at Wugunggo Ngalu a place for men on community correction orders in a culturally sensitive space.  The men shared their stories, showed us their artwork, and danced for us. Every story told had a touch of sadness or tragedy and the outcome for being part of the program was strength, identity and a positive outlook for their future. Such an amazing day.
I am looking forward and am excited about some new initiatives and programs to be introduced in 2017 and warmly welcome anyone to come by and have a yarn about my role or how you can get involved.

Men's Network

The Men’s Business program is for Indigenous men, this program has been developed to support Indigenous men from the community. The men gather together in and informal and relaxed environment to undertake social activities such as bowling camping trips, darts, cultural activities and we cook a feed and have dinner together.  We have found that sitting down together for dinner  gets conversations flowing and before you know it we are discussing issues and other activities with in the EMR or just to catch up and have a yarn.  We have developed a cultural shed were we make tools and discuss men’s business.
Focus groups based on culture, recreation and education is the core basis of engaging the men, as well as building links to other Indigenous men’s groups around the region, state and nation.  I am also running a men’s group in Healesville and would like to bring both groups together to build a stronger structure in the EMR. 
Men’s groups can provide support and mentorship to other MMIGP programs including the youth network, Elders and Women’s networks. 
Two side projects we are linking into the community include firestick farming and aquaponics.  Both projects focus on the eco systems and building cultural knowledge.  Both programs have the potential to become self funding and not only programs aimed at the EMR but state wide.
The Men’s group is looking forward to continuing the cultural shed and developing further skills and knowledge,.  The group will also continue to undertake social activities through 2017 with the men actively involved in the planning of these opportunities.
Brad Smith
Men’s Worker
2016 Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll
Uncle John Baxter
‘A fearless champion for Reconciliation and Equity’
Congratulations to Uncle John Baxter for his induction to the Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll.  Uncle John is a Latji Latji/Narungga man who believes change occurs when people take action.  His philosophy has inspired him to advocate for reconciliation, for rights of Aboriginal people living with disabilities and for a greater understanding of the past to improve for the future. 
Uncle John’s active life is based on the philosophy that it’s no good sitting back and watching things happen.  He believes that, while the past cannot be changed, there are solutions to every problem that life throws up, if people are prepared to ‘walk together’ to find the way.
Uncle Glen Peters
‘A much loved nurturer of his community’
Uncle Glen Peters, a proud descendant of Coranderrk who identified as Yarra Yarra, Yorta Yorta and Nguraiilum Wurrung. He earned universal love and respect amongst the Victorian Aboriginal community and beyond not only for his devoted care and compassion, but for his dedication to ensuring that those who had passed were safely returned to their own country for their final journey.
Glen is remembered as a gentle quiet man who saw the best in people and had an ability to communicate with anyone. At the same time, he was known to be determined to the point of stubbornness in the face of any injustice.

Maroondah Council RAP Community Consultation

Thank you to all our community members and local reconciliation groups for supporting the Maroondah City Council reconciliation (MCC) community workshop. The workshop attracted about 80 community member who provided their feedback, suggestions and ideas to advance reconciliation in a considerate and practical way that will progress  positive outcomes for all concerned i.e  MMC residents , Aboriginal peoples, MMIGP and MCC.
Thank you to William Glenbar for facilitating the workshop, CEO Steve Kozlowski for MCing, Councillor Nora Lamont for her words and attendance and to Bridget Ruff from MCC for involving MMIGP in the community consultation workshop.
Belgrave Survival Day
Mullum Mullum Staff and Community were there  to celebrate Survival Day at “Belgrave’s Survival Day” event, on Thursday 26th January 2017.  Our stall attracted more than 80 children and parents, who took up the opportunity to get involved in some of the activities which were on offer,  such as making  koori flags, paper boomerangs and badges.  The Mullum Choir presented a great performance for everyone, as well as the MMIGP Youth Hip Hop dancers who  did an amazing job, which the crowd  enjoyed and danced along to the beat.
It was great to see so many community members on the day and a big Thankyou to Kayn Milward  for all his help at our stall and assisting with all activities.
A huge thank you to all our volunteers throughout 2016. 
  • To everyone that has volunteered their time each Wednesday to keep the foodbank running we are extremely grateful for your continued to support. 
  • To Heather Cosgriff we thank you for all the beautiful photos you have taken throughout the year (many of which are included in this newsletter)
  • To the Board of Management who provide the strategic direction and support to keep MMIGP running, thank you.
  • To all those community members who have helped in the kitchen or helped to pack away tables and chairs and set up for events, thank you.
  • Thankyou to everyone who attended or contributed to the Trivia Night and Gala Dinner
  • Thankyou to the Department of Justice and Regulation Community Corrections  work crew for  their assistance with the garden maintenance at Croydon Way.
MMIGP would like to acknowledge the below for their funding and generous support.
Copyright © 2017 *Mullum Mullum Indigenous Gathering Place*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
PO Box 80, East Ringwood, Vic, 3135

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