An Aboriginal elder travelled more than 2,000 miles to perform a special dance with his granddaughter at her graduation from college in Australia. This aboriginal elder traveled from a remote island in north east Arnhem Land to Healesville, just north of Melbourne. He travelled all those miles to show how proud he was of his granddaughter and also to perform a special tribal dance for her at the graduation.
Gali Yalkarriwuy Gurruwiwi travelled by plane from the Galiwin’ku on Elcho Island to Worawa Aboriginal College in Healesville, Melbourne. At the college, his granddaughter Sasha has been boarding for the past two and a half years and was about to graduate.
“It was his dream, to dance with his granddaughters here,” said Jane Garrutju, Gali’s English-speaking wife. “When visitors come to Elcho Island my grandfather always dances, and all the grandchildren dance with him.” Jane said that the family decided to allow Sasha to study to Worawa because they wanted her to have every chance to be whatever she wanted to be.
“Gali’s very strong in teaching his grandchildren to cling on to their values, to be able to balance Western culture and our culture,” Jane said. Sasha says that she is very proud of her heritage and her family. She wants to complete the rest of her education at Clontarf Aboriginal College in WA, where she plans on becoming a nurse. When she finishes her education, she also wants to continue working in her local community in Melbourne and help others through her profession.