Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative’s Uncle Leon Saunders believes the Shepparton Ethnic Council’s cultural bus tour plays a key role in informing people about local indigenous history.
The tour has been running since 2011 and aims to help the wider community learn more about Shepparton’s multicultural community.
“It’s a great thing to connect with other cultures in the Greater Shepparton area,” Mr Saunders said. “It’s good to share our cultures and give people a bit of understanding about the oldest culture on earth.”
Mr Saunders said he enjoyed showing people through the Rumbalara compound and the little concrete museum shelter they had. This shelter was originally built in the 1950s and shows the living conditions of the Aboriginal community back then.
Mr Saunders spent some time living with his family in a similar concrete shelter before they were assimilated into the Mooroopna community when he was a child. “Because I lived it I can pass on that knowledge … so it’s a living history,” he said.
Shepparton Ethnic Council project co-ordinator Sam Atukorala said for many people who participated in the tour it was often the first time they had interacted with different multicultural communities. “This also provides a platform for new and emerging communities in Shepparton to showcase their cultures and religions, break cultural barriers and build sustainable relationships,” he said.
The tour includes visits to Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative, the Turkish mosque, Afghan mosque, the Gurdwara Sahib (Sikh temple) and the Iraqi mosque. A lunch is also provided at the Afghan mosque.
Mr Atukorala said they were thankful to the continued support of Elders, religious and community leaders, as well as Greater Shepparton City Council, Shepparton police and Shepparton Interfaith Network.
The upcoming tour on Wednesday, March 22 will leave from Shepparton Ethnic Council, 158 Welsford St at 9 am and finish about 4 pm. The tour is free but bookings are essential. For more information and bookings phone Sam Atukorala at Shepparton Ethnic Council on 5831 2395.
Article and image courtesy Shepparton News