As part of Team England’s preparations for next year’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Chef de Mission Sarah Winckless led a team of senior officials in taking part in “Girrebba” cultural awareness training.  

The session was led by Stacie a future leader of the Yugumbeh language group and Marty, Aunty Di and Ethan from the Dreamworld cultural awareness programme.

The Girrebba programme which can be roughly translated as an "awakening" seeks to help people across the Gold Coast recognise Australia’s rich aboriginal history, the world’s oldest living culture.

Team England’s team behind the team learnt about key aspects of Yugumbeh and wider aboriginal culture including the significance of face painting, fire making and the power of aboriginal art in telling stories about the land.

Team England Chef de Mission Sarah Winckless led the team on the training.  Sarah said “It is crucial for Team England to have an understanding of the countries and cultures that we compete in. 

"It was an honour to learn about the history of the indigenous people in Australia and in particular the Elders of the Yugumbeh lands who will be welcoming us to their land for the Games next year. As a team we acknowledge the traditional Elders of the Yugumbeh lands both past and present and the Yugumbeh language.

“To hear the stories of Marty, Aunty Di, Ethan and Stacie really brought home the importance of respecting indigenous culture in Australia.  We will be sharing what we have learnt with the team back in England and putting our training into action on the Gold Coast in 2018.”

The Dreamworld Corroboree Girrebba programme teaches visitors about the history of the indigenous people in Australia and the Torres Strait Islander history and culture and Team England’s training was facilitated by Indigenous Mentor Marty Ermer and Al Mucci from the Gold Coast Organising Committee.