Everyone’s invited to St Kilda on 26 January for We-Akon Dilinja (Mourning Reflection) – a
commemorative dawn service presented by the Boonwurrung Land and Sea Council (BLSC) in partnership with Port Phillip Council.
The 2023 theme, “honouring the past and realising a new united vision for our shared future”, will be presented from the perspective of First Nations musical performers and speakers. Parbinata Dr Carolyn Briggs AM will perform the Welcome to Country and a smoking ceremony will conclude the moving ceremony.
This inclusive, free event includes a keynote address by N’arweet Chairman BLSC Jason Briggs and readings by Mayor Heather Cunsolo and multi-faith representatives. Bookings aren’t required.
Viewers across Australia can participate via the livestream at
This is the fourth year the award-winning ceremony has been held. The National Australia Day Council is again supporting the event.
Cr Cunsolo said Port Phillip Council was the first local government to help present an event of this kind.
“Our Council’s Reconciliation Action Plan includes building awareness and understanding as well as enhancing cultural opportunities for First Peoples,” she said.
“In this spirit of Reconciliation, We-Akon Dilinja offers a very special opportunity for everyone to come together to reflect on the past and look to a united future.”
N’arweet Jason Briggs said: “The We-Akon Dilinja is a Mourning of Reflection; about what we can learn from the past; not be chained by it and create a better future.
“We-Akon Dilinja is an opportunity for all Australians to redefine what it means to be Australian.
If we all want solutions, we first have to identify the real problems and work together to achieve effective outcomes for a fairer and more inclusive Nation.”
After the ceremony, Cr Cunsolo will meet 126 conferees from 46 countries at the St Kilda Town Hall for the Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony.
WE-AKON DILINJA PROGRAM (Alfred Square, St Kilda)
5.45 am Arrival requested
6.00 am Didgeridoo player – Kiernan Ironfield
6.02 am MC – Bo Svoronos
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6.04 am Boonwurrung song – “Long Time Living Here” – Shauntai Batzke (written by Deborah
Cheetham AO, Parbinata Dr Carolyn Briggs AM, Jarra Steel & Aunty Fay Stewart Muir)
6.06 am Welcome to Country and Introduction – Parbinata Dr Carolyn Briggs AM
6.10 am Acknowledgment – Josh Burns MP
6.13 am Keynote Address – N’arweet Jason Briggs
6.18 am Original piece – Jess Hitchcock
6.20 am 1st reading – Cr Heather Cunsolo, City of Port Phillip Mayor
6.21 am Shofar with Jewish prayer – Rabbi Gabi Kaltmann
6.23 am South Eastern Queensland Aboriginal Language Song – John Wayne-Parsons (lead vocals)
accompanied by Cisco (guitar)
6.25 am 2nd reading – Janet Galpin
6.27 am Tribute to past Boonwurrung Elders – Parbinata Carolyn Briggs
6.32 am Kemer Kemer Meriam Song – John Wayne-Parsons (lead vocals) accompanied by Cisco (guitar)
6.37 am Waternests (original song) – Brett Lee
6.40 am Smoking Ceremony – David Tournier 7.00am Close