Salvos stall a hit once again at Yabun Festival
BY TONY DEVLIN
The Salvation Army’s mission and services once again aligned with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders at the annual Yabun Festival.
Yabun is the nation’s largest one-day gathering and recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, held annually on Australia Day on the traditional lands of the Gadigal people in Sydney.
Established in 2003, Yabun (meaning ‘music to a beat’ in the Gadigal language) is a free event that features live music, corroboree, a bustling stalls market, panel discussions and community forums on Aboriginal issues, children’s activities, and traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural performances. It was the fourth occasion that The Salvation Army had participated in Yabun.
Sue Hodges, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Coordinator for NSW/ACT, summed up the experience at Yabun this year: “Just deadly! Can’t wait to do it all again. I could feel God’s presence with us, and I want to give him all the glory for opening doors and giving us the right words to say.”
The Salvation Army stall operated from 8am to 4pm, with representatives from various departments and services including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ministry team, Financial Inclusion, Moneycare, Homelessness, Alcohol and Other Drugs, Sydney City Salvos and Family and Domestic Violence.
The teams connected with about 450 community members of all ages from various backgrounds.
Information about The Salvation Army’s services, referral details, and resource materials was available. The team also provided a range of Salvos merchandise, including Moneycare moneyboxes and Streetlevel keep-cups and hats. A QR code to download the ‘You’re the Boss’ money wisdom book was also provided.
The Federal Minister for the Environment and Water and Member for Sydney, Tanya Plibersek, visited The Salvation Army stall and was heard to say, “I love the Salvos”.
The Salvation Army has a commitment under its Reconciliation Action Plan and Financial Inclusion Action Plan to increase understanding, value and recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, histories, knowledge and rights.
It also aims to increase awareness and accessibility of our services for First Nations peoples. Yabun was the perfect opportunity to act on this commitment.