Traditional Owners welcome Queen’s Baton to Uluru
Uluru’s traditional owners, the Anangu, have welcomed the Queen’s Baton with a traditional inma (dance and song) at the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
Surrounded by Spinifex grass, Anangu Elder Rollie Mintuma with David Cooley and Zacharius performed the desert-type inma accompanied to stories sung by Awalari Esther Teamay, Pixie Brown and Renee Kulitja.
Passing the Queen’s Baton between them, and with Uluru’s living cultural landscape in the distance, the ceremony was a moving reminder of the union of cultures that exist in today’s modern Commonwealth.
The Queen’s Baton contains a message from the Queen. The inma’s setting among Spinifex is significant because the paper Her Majesty’s message is written on is made from this grass – a grass with various traditional applications.
Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation General Manager Communications and Marketing, Lara McKay, who was in attendance at Uluru, said bringing the Queen’s Baton to the internationally-renown landmark continues to acknowledge all first nations people in the Queen’s Baton Relay journey.
“GC2018 is a celebration of world-class sport, but equally it is a celebration of the diverse cultures that form a remarkable Commonwealth of nations and territories.
“In April when teams from every inhabited continent come to compete at GC2018 we’re going to see a spectacular display of sportsmanship and the meeting of cultures.”
At the launch of the Queen’s Baton Relay on the Forecourt at Buckingham Palace on 13 March 2017, Yugambeh Elders Patricia O’Connor and Ted Williams delivered an invitation on behalf of the Yugambeh Language Group of the Gold Coast to all first nations people of the Commonwealth to come together in celebrating the Games.
This was the first time in history that Indigenous Elders have been invited by the Commonwealth Games Federation and the Royal Household to participate in the Queen’s Baton Relay commencement ceremony at Buckingham Palace with Her Majesty The Queen in attendance.
Yesterday’s inma at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park marked 81 days until the start of GC2018.
The Queen’s Baton now heads to Melbourne where it will be at the National Sport Museum at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Monday 15 January, and the Australian Open on Tuesday 16 January.