Wednesdays are looking a little brighter in Lawson with the opening of the Deadlee Gap Cultural Cafe.
The cafe was launched on Wednesday April 21 at Belong Blue Mountains in the Mid Mountains Neighbourhood Centre.
Café facilitator and co-founder of the Deadlee Gap Project Aunty Sue Tate said it was opened on a glorious autumn morning and involved conversation, culture and community.
"Our free café will be open every Wednesday for people of all ages and backgrounds to come together for a cuppa, a yarn, and to share culture, stories and respect.
"Everyone is welcome. This is a place for young and old to talk about what's happening in their lives. We will also help with ideas for cultural projects and advise on available resources," she said.
Mental health youth worker and co-founder of the Deadlee Gap Project Jamie Murray thanked Aunty Sue for "this new initiative. The Deadlee Gap just keeps rolling. We've done some great things over the years."
Mr Murray spoke about the intergenerational trauma he continues to witness in his youth work.
"We can't move forward without dealing with this. That's that thing - to talk it out, work out solutions and give support. The Deadlee Gap Café can be a place for that."
Gundungurra and Darug elder Aunty Carol Cooper who gave the Welcome to Country said, "It is important our young people know where they have come from. They are the future. Learning about culture helps them speak out. And that is how change happens."
Deadlee Gap volunteer and former Blue Mountains councillor Kerrin O'Grady said that the theme for Reconciliation Week this year is 'More than a word. Reconciliation takes action'. So come along to the Café and be part of the action."
Ms O'Grady thanked Belong Blue Mountains for supporting the cultural café.
"Belong CEO Kath Harrison and community development worker Kerin Pollock have understood the power and potential of a safe place for sharing culture over a cuppa."
The Deadlee Gap Café opening was attended by 35 local elders and other residents along with representatives of Headspace, the Older Women's Network, Ted Noffs Foundation, Nepean-Blue Mountains Local Health District, National Parks, Linkup NSW, Belong Blue Mountains and Blue Mountains Council. Cr Kerry Brown, who recently secured $250 in council funding for the cafe at the April council meeting, also attended. More funding and grants are being sought by the organisation for its ongoing operation.
The project was established in 2016 by Aunty Sue Tate, a Kamillaroi and Gomeroi woman, and Jamie Murray, a Wiradjuri man. It began with a weekly radio program on 2BLU FM and Koori Radio.
Other initiatives have included the creation of a ceremonial possum cloak for Katoomba High by Indigenous female students with the help of the aunties and the Goodomabah Film Festival with Blue Mountains City Council.
The cafe is open between 10.30am and 2.30pm on Wednesdays at the Mid Mountains Neighbourhood Centre, 9 New Street, Lawson. For more information call 4759 2592.
- Each year from May 27 to June 3, National Reconciliation Week celebrates and builds on the respectful relationships shared by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians.