Asylum seekers welcomed to country in Top End

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For the first time, a welcome to country ceremony has been held inside one of Australia’s immigration detention centres.

Larrakia woman June Mills was granted permission to give the welcome at Darwin’s detention centre yesterday.

She says she sang and talked about customary law and found the asylum seekers to be a very receptive audience.

“Loving the songs, curious about everything you know, questioning. We did have interpreter there which was absolutely brilliant so there was a lot of exchange going on and they were just so warm,” she said.

Ms Mills says she welcomed the asylum seekers and sang to them.

“I shared and did the welcome and we shared a beautiful afternoon but the overwhelming gratitude and thankfulness is just something that really touches you,” she said.

Ms Mills says some of the men wrote her a letter expressing their warmest thanks.

“Thankyou so much from the depth of my heart from your hospitality generosity and vast-heartedness and thankyou very much for your gorgeous and fabulous songs that untied the 18 month detention of our hearts,” the letter said.

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  1. William B Day

    June Mills has a heart of gold and is well-respected in Darwin, Northern Territory.