Esperance students lead community in historic national dance

Esperance Girls Academy and Clontarf Academy students took part in history on December 1, as they danced in unison with more than 80 Indigenous nations across Australia.

The 'Nation Dance' event encouraged communities to simultaneously share videos of song and dance to uplift, heal and acknowledge the sacrifices and ongoing injustices faced by First Nations Peoples.

Clontarf Academy student Antal Close helped bring the grassroots movement to Esperance and inspired other young people to get involved and share their history.

"It was an event that showcased we still have culture in Australia and with all the bad things that are happening such as the bushfires, it is to heal Australia and to wake up the ancestors," he said.

"Most young people don't connect to their culture as much as they're meant to, but it is really good that they came down and danced for us."

Beaming with pride: Esperance Girls Academy students danced in front of more than 100 people gathered along the foreshore to share in an historic moment occurring across the country. Photo: Sarah Makse.

Beaming with pride: Esperance Girls Academy students danced in front of more than 100 people gathered along the foreshore to share in an historic moment occurring across the country. Photo: Sarah Makse.

Organiser Johnine Graham said the event was inspired by activist Alwyn Doolan, who walked the length of Australia to carry a message stick to Parliament.

"We wanted to join because we knew it was about support and it had never been done before so it is like being a part of history," she said.

"Passing it on to our kids and seeing them dancing and being proud of who they are is a great thing for the community.

"It is part of their identity and who they are, it is inspiring for young people to step up and share their culture."