Combined corroboree and haka mesmerises Kings Park crowd

ANZAC Day Haka Corroboree
There was an outpouring of emotion at this year’s ANZAC Day Haka and Corroboree for Life following the Dawn Service at Kings Park. (Photo: Clarissa Phillips).

25 April 2018

Shannon Hampton – The West Australian

A moving merging of an Aboriginal corroboree and the haka had a crowd of thousands mesmerised at Kings Park after this morning’s ANZAC dawn service.

The performance, involving dozens of performers on the grass near Fraser Avenue, was a poignant symbol of the bond between Australia and New Zealand.

Combining the two traditional ceremonies for the first time came after footage of the original inaugural ANZAC Day Haka for Life last year went viral, racking up millions of views and making headlines across the globe.

Noongar dancers
Noongar dancers at Kings Park after the ANZAC Day dawn service. (Picture: Clarissa Phillips)

While honouring our fallen Anzacs, Haka for Life founder Leon Ruri said the ceremony also aimed to help raise awareness of suicide prevention.

“It’s the demonstration that we can bring two cultures together no matter the differences, no matter the opinions, no matter the protocols, and as long as you communicate powerfully, things can be achieved,” he said.

The groundbreaking performance began with Aboriginal women calling the men to the fore with tapping sticks, a sign of respect for the traditional owners of the land.

Then the haka was performed, with the ceremony ending with a traditional Aboriginal celebratory dance and applause from the massive crowd.

Noongar Yorga teenager Shaneall Bennell, 16, travelled from Pingelly to perform with her sister and cousins.

“I just wanted to take part in giving back to our ancestors who fought in the war and our ancestors in general,” she said.

ANZAC Haka 2017

About 200 people took part in the first ANZAC Day Haka for Life at Kings Park

Aroha Brown, who chairs community support network Brake the Psychol, was moved to tears after performing the haka.

“It’s a great moment,” she said.

“Historically, this has never been done, the corroboree and the haka, there’s meaning behind it, a tribute to our ANZACs, and acknowledging the fight that we all have inside our heads.

“The spirit within the cultures coming together has been the most spectacular thing to me.”

[Watch the video and read the Western Australian article].

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