The Koojay Corroboree returned to Sydney on Friday after two years cancellations under COVID19 protocols.

The annual affair brought a range of cultural celebrations to Coogee Beach in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, held in partnership with the La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council.

Koojay is the tradition name for the area in Bidjigal language.

A collective of language groups from around the state gathered on Bidjigal and Gadigal land to mark the start of Reconciliation Week and celebrate this year’s theme of be brave, make change.

Local councillors, politicians and elders from surrounding areas were among the hundreds of attendees.

Randwick City mayor Dylan Parker encouraged the crowd to “take the time to reflect, respect and enjoy” the festivities and appreciate the exchange of cultural knowledge.

“Working towards reconciliation is an important and ongoing process that Randwick Council is committed to being part of,” he said. 

For those paying attention, performances from a series of dance groups told stories of the land, animals and custom intertwined with considerations, including rethought observation on gender roles, for young Indigenous and non-Indigenous kids and parents to take through life.

In concert with the lessons, the corroboree featured a fashion parade of uses Gomeroi artwork and Gamilaraay language from Buluuy Mirrii Design’s Colleen Tighe Johnson.

Ms Johnson said it was an honour to showcase pieces from this year’s The Honey Ant collection “inspired by First Nations women and matriarchal customs” to celebrate the Reconciliation Week theme.

“As women, we nurture, support, and sustain our families and communities,” she said.

“We know our women continue to be brave and work towards a better future.”

Reconciliation Week runs May 27 to June 3 with a host of events around the country.