The Duurunu Miru dancers have been busy preparing their welcome dance for the opening of the much anticipated Wanderer Festival, hosted in Pambula from Friday.
Dhawa man and founder of the Duurunu Miru, Shaquille Aldridge said he had around 20 dancers, aged two to 37, who were all bubbling with excitement for their performances at Wanderer.
"We're going to do the welcome dance on Friday and then on Sunday we'll also be performing with the Djaadjawan Dancers," he said.
Mr Aldridge first created the dance group in 2014 as a means to pass on the Dhawa Country stories he had learnt from his elders.
"I took all the stories I had learnt from my uncles and aunties and incorporated them into dance," he said.
Mr Aldridge said the welcome dance, much like the welcome to country, was an important element of events.
"It's a way of showing respect to our ancestors that were here before us, to show that we're still here and sharing their culture," he said.
Mr Aldridge said the smoking ceremony and burning of the gum leaves would also act as a means to clear the area of any negative spirits and invite their ancestors back home.
Mr Aldridge said he had found the festival organisers' approach very respectful and was 'honoured' to deliver the welcome to country.
"Their approach to sharing our culture has been really respectful and I think this festival is a great opportunity for our Indigenous artists to be recognised," he said.
Mr Aldridge said the festival would benefit a great range of Yuin artists from singers, dancers to arts and craft artists and many others.
"As First Nation people we do have stories to tell, from ancient stories to what has just happened with the bushfires," he said.
Mr Aldridge said the festival would also help open up future opportunities for Indigenous artists in the Bega Valley.
"I think it will encourage our Indigenous community to come to events like this because when they see a familiar face in the community, be it a cousin a brother or sister, coming to perform it shows they can too," he said.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Make sure you are signed up for our breaking and regular headlines newsletters
Follow us on Twitter: @Bega_News
Follow us on Instagram: @begadistrictnews
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.