The Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre has honoured its founder, Vince Ross, and restated his dream of reconciliation through deeper cultural understanding at a naming ceremony attended by Synod Moderator Sharon Hollis and UCA presidents past and present.
After a traditional Indigenous smoking ceremony, Vince led the invite-only group of about 70 into Narana’s event centre.
There Sharon helped Vince and his grandchildren unveil the huge sign renaming it ‘The Uncle Vince Ross Event Centre’.
In her opening address Sharon paid tribute to Vince, who is a former Victorian chair of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress and started Narana to promote understanding of the First Peoples through immersive education and art.
“You (Vince) have always been there to remind us that we have to walk together,” Sharon said.
“You have treated us with love and kindness and given us stories which have opened our hearts and lives to the truth of your heart and the lives of your people.”
“This place was your dream and your vision for how our Congress in Victoria could create a place where we can learn together, grow together, heal together and dream of a better future.”
“Today Vince, is a testament to your vision, your drive, your commitment and your love for this place and our Congress, but most of all for your people and your culture.”
Vince was humble in accepting the honour.
“I know it’s got my name up here but it’s about what we have done together,” he said.
“You don’t do these things for the reward, you do it because you’re passionate, you want to see change and you want to be part of the change. That was the reason Narana was born,” he said.
After Uncle Vince was honoured, he and Rev Rachel Kronberger, of Narana’s oversight committee, conducted a welcome and commissioning service for new Narana Senior Manager, Mel Osbourne.
Narana, which means listening, hearing and understanding, sits in Grovedale, just outside of Geelong.