Roebourne Celebrations

1 July has been a very significant day of celebration for the people of Roebourne for over 25 years.  It started at Minurmarghali Mia 28 years ago as a day to celebrate the birthdays of all the students that had been allocated 1 July as their birthday.  They were allocated this date as there was no official record of their birth and the day became known as “Old People’s Birthday” in Roebourne.  It has also been closely linked with NAIDOC celebrations and is seen by many as the most significant NAIDOC Celebration in Roebourne.  Although many of the elders who had this day as their birthday have now passed, most people in Roebourne honour this day as a day to celebrate their lives and share their story with younger generations and everyone else who wants to be part of it. This year St Luke’s College had the privilege to celebrate with the community.

1 July 2020 fell on a Wednesday and, working closely with the Roebourne District High School, we enjoyed a day of service to others. Specifically, the elders mentioned above. Our College was very well represented by our students who made sure the elders were comfortable, serving cups of water, tea and the lunch. Very much a new cultural experience for our students, it was also very educational and a lot of fun.

This can be best summed up by the following reflections:

Alice Tunstead (Year 8 N4)

I had a very fun day at Roebourne, celebrating “Old People’s Birthday”. I had the pleasure to serve them tea, coffee and food. I also got to sing Happy Birthday to them in their language! I enjoyed learning about their culture and the history of Roebourne. A traditional dance was also performed and I enjoyed watching that! I was lucky enough to go and have a tour in the Ganalili Gallery and see some of the most amazing art works, explaining the country! I would definitely do it again, as I had a blast and met lots of amazing people! Thanks Mr Sharpe for taking us!!

Tamzyn Neville (Year 8 F1)

Is to respect the elder people’s stories, their culture, languages, art, dancing and singing. To know that the elder peoples didn’t know their birth date and so they celebrated their birthday on July the 1st. They would celebrate at the reserve, where they stayed for a couple of years, they would go there and would pray together as a family around the campfire.


Mr Wayne Sharpe