On Friday 8 April, the Round Square Chairs were delighted to welcome Dewayne Everettsmith – a palawa man from both the community of Cape Barren Island and gunai/kurnai people of Victoria, as the guest speaker of our Round Square session.
Hailing from Hobart, Dewayne is passionate about the revival and continuation of language (palawa kani), especially in the area of songs for ceremony and dance. He is present in the Tasmanian community as Cultural Awareness Coordinator of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre – having been recognised with a Human Rights Week Award – for bringing palawa/pakana culture and language to the broader community, educating children and working to protect palawa/pakana heritage.
In addition to his role with the Tasmania Aboriginal Centre, Dewayne is also a renowned performer! He released his debut album Surrender in 2014. The album includes the song Melaythina, the first commercially available song sung in palawa kani – which we had the opportunity of listening to during the session.
Dewayne captivated students with his engaging aura and activities, linking students’ ideals and values to the importance of palawa/pakana land and culture – including an opportunity for students to create their own works of art around the idea of community.
The Round Square Committee is incredibly grateful for this valuable learning experience. We hope to continue education around palawa/pakana people and culture into the future, with the help of guest speakers like Dewayne. On behalf of the College we thank Dewayne for sharing an amazing an engaging presentation.