The Royal Australian Navy Indigenous Performance Group, Bungaree, proudly entertained visitors in their traditional energetic style at different venues throughout the Albany Convoy Commemorative Event.
The name ‘Bungaree’ is in honour of a historic Aboriginal community leader, Bungaree, who escorted Matthew Flinders on his circumnavigation of Australia.
The group's performances highlighted the involvement of the indigenous Australian soldiers who departed 'Kinjarling', or the 'the place of rain', to fight as Anzacs a century ago.
Bungaree member, Chief Petty Officer Ray Rosendale, said that it was special for him and the group to represent their service and reinforced Navy's commitment to embracing diversity within the ranks.
“For me personally, this commemorative event serves as an understanding and acknowledgement of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and their part played in the First World War and other campaigns that followed,” Chief Petty Officer Rosendale said.
Their unique performances included a ‘welcome dance’ and acknowledgement of individual Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members from places all over Australia.
“Public engagement by the young Noongar onlookers here in Albany has been encouraging. Even though we ‘painted up’ and wore Navy rig, the curious young indigenous boys saw our group members and made an effort to shake our hands,” he said.
“This is testament to how Navy has progressed leaps and bounds in the last few years by understanding our culture and embedding this into the work place,” Chief Rosendale said.
Imagery is available on the Navy Image Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/ACCE14-0017.