It wasn’t all party boats and excitable teens in Manly on Australia Day, beachgoers down at Collins Flat Beach were instead witness to an emotional healing ceremony led by local indigenous figure Susan Moylan-Coombs.
Ms Moylan-Coombs said the event was a unique and powerful one, with participants entering the water before returning to country and being smoked while walking back onto land.
“January 26 is a contentious day that means many different things to many people and we believe the healing ceremony is a great way to bring everybody together,” Ms Moylan-Coombs said.
“It’s the second year we have held the ceremony at Manly and the time is right to take it across the state and then country.”
Ceremony collaborator Vivid Indigenous Services is keen to expand the annual healing ceremony, especially if state and national bodies are engaged.
Director Scott Agnew said, “We really believe in what Susan is achieving with the ceremony and we will be speaking to bodies like Surf Life Saving Australia and their states to seek involvement on a national scale.”