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The Women's and Children's Hospital is located on the traditional lands for the Kaurna people, and we respect their spiritual relationship with their Country. We also acknowledge that the Kaurna people are the custodians of the Adelaide region, and that their cultural and heritage beliefs are still as important to the living Kaurna people today.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices and names of people who have passed away.

Smoking Ceremony cleanses New WCH site

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nWCH News
Posted 30 Apr 2024

In anticipation for the formal start of construction at the new Women’s and Children’s Hospital site, an Aboriginal smoking ceremony was performed to cleanse and heal the ground.

The ceremony ensures appropriate cultural protocols are followed and embedded into the new hospital.

Led by Kaurna elder Uncle Mickey O’Brien, this continuing traditional Aboriginal custom and practice cleansed the site prior to works commencing on the multi-level New WCH car park and central energy plant.

This practice recognised the land's heritage, both colonial history and long-standing heritage, and the connection Aboriginal people have with this land. In doing so, the land is now prepared for its new use. A smoking ceremony involves the burning of native plants which produces cleansing smoke, to acknowledge Kaurna ancestors and pay respect to Country, waters, and seas.

Uncle Mickey also performed a Welcome to Country to attending guests from the Kaurna Yerta Aboriginal Corporation (KYAC), and representatives from WCHN and the New WCH Project Team.

The new hospital will include dedicated spaces and services for Aboriginal health and wellbeing. These include Taikurrinthi (Aboriginal Liaison Unit), Ngangkita Ngartu (Aboriginal Family Birthing Program), the Aboriginal Resource Centre and an Aboriginal healing garden.

The Project Team and Design Team will continue to work with Aboriginal consumers and staff to incorporate Aboriginal healing practices and Aboriginal cultural practices into the design of the New WCH.