2024 Welcome to Country Ochre

2024 Welcome to Ngambri-Kamberri Country

On 10 February 2024, new and returning Burgmann residents and staff were formally Welcomed to Ngambri-Kamberri Country by Kamberri Elder Dr Aunty Matilda House-Williams and her son, Paul Girrawah House.

Aunty Matilda and Paul led our residents and staff through a traditional smoking ceremony, and we're grateful to the talented Nathan Harradine-Hale of Collections from Him for having captured much of the inherent power and beauty of this event. We encourage you to view more photos in our Gallery.

Paul spoke to attendees about the privilege of receiving higher education, and about taking responsibility for their learning and their care of others and Country.

With permission, Paul has graciously allowed us to reprint some of his speech, which was delivered in Walgulu/Wiradyuri:


Respect, be gentle, be polite, be patient, give honour, take responsibility.

Yindyamarra wirrimbirra maradhal gu-bu, giyira gu-bu, yandhul gu-bu.

Respect is taking responsibility for the past, the present and the future.

Murun-wiginya Yindyamarra murun-murru wirimbirra dhaura.

Living a respectful way of life cares for Country.

We were also honoured to welcome former resident and Honourary Fellow Judith Middlebrook (1971–1982) to the event.

Our close friendship with Aunty Matilda and Paul has enriched Burgmann College in many ways. Burgmann remains committed to our College's Reconciliation Action Plan, which includes our First Nations Arts Initiative Fund.

The First Nations Arts Initiative Fund continually adds works by First Nations artists to the College's art collection, as we believe that the display and celebration of First Nations arts and cultures at Burgmann is an important part of our identity.

Thanks to our generous donors, we were thrilled to add a beautiful portrait of Aunty Matilda by Aboriginal Australian artist Dr Brenda L. Croft to our College's art collection.

This arts initiative supports talented Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, beautifies the Burgmann campus, and keeps residents and staff connected to Country. We welcome your generosity in giving to the First Nations Arts Initiative Fund to secure further works of First Nations art.

2024 Welcome to Country Paul Girrawah House Matilda House Williams
Aunty Dr Matilda House-Williams and her son, Paul Girrawah House, stand next to the tree planted in honour of Aunty's great-grandfather, Ngambri Elder Henry 'Black Harry' Williams.
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