of the Yorta Yorta Community

By Rosalba Nattero - Melbourne, 25 October 2005

Rosalba Nattero:
What meaning has the Burial Ceremony for you?

Jason Tamiru:
It is my identity, it's my culture, it gives me closure, it gives me happiness, it gives me sadness. But it also gives the people that are laid in Mother Earth rest and peace. So that's what it means. In regards to the Burial Ceremony in Swan Hill, we did burry 35 individual Indigenous People

Native Australian of the Yorta Yorta Community.

coming from the same land. I've done a lot of things in my life, traveled around the world, I've got a good base of education, I've got my lovely family and these things hold wonderful memories to me. The work that I've done at Swan Hill has been the most memorable thing I've done in my life. That's something I'll take to my grave one day and I believe that that's what people viewed. I believe that they'll take it to their grave also. Not only will it be taken to the grave but also it will stay on top of the land because it will be story that will be kept forever.
So, to be given the honor and the duty to lay these people to rest, to physically handle these Indigenous People , they did give me a sense of pride, they did give me a lot of strength. The spirit was there, it seemed to drive me, just fuse me with amazing strength. That's something I'll never forget, that's with me today and I can really feel that I'm an Indigenous man, an Aboriginal man. I've actually grown and I'm matured since the Burial Ceremony.

Rosalba Nattero:
You played didgeridoo at the Ceremony. How did you learn it?

Jason Tamiru:
Like a lot of things in our culture we're wholly influenced by our family members and one of the Elders whom I have the utmost respect for, my uncle named Ralph Nichols, he played the didgeridoo. My uncle Ralph, the late Ralph Nichols I might add, he was my favorite uncle and I inspired to be something like him. He was a didgeridoo player at a very young age. He got me started with the didgeridoo and I just developed from there.