Ngiyampaa Parliament PDF Print E-mail
A solemn moment during the ceremony. With the couple is their granddaughter April King.
A solemn moment during the ceremony. With the couple is their granddaughter April King.
It was neither your average wedding, nor an ordinary venue when Rose King and Arthur Kirby decided to marry in July last year. The Narrabundah couple drove past any number of quaintly steepled churches and immaculate reception lawns, making their way to the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in front of Old Parliament House in Canberra. It was there that friends and family had gathered to witness the marriage ceremony and take part in the first wedding ever to be held on the site.

Over the 27 years that Arthur and Rose have been together, the Tent Embassy has come to be of great significance as they've marched, protested and gathered peacefully with people who've shared their beliefs. Now they wished to show their respect for the site and pride in their heritage as Ngiyampaa people. The couple incorporated into the ceremony a speech in the language of the central west region of New South Wales.

When planning the wedding, Rose contacted a friend, Tamsin Donaldson, who had learned to speak Ngiyampaa with the Elders from Carowra, between Cobar and Ivanhoe, and invited her to speak to the gathering.

Photo Gary Schafer. Canberra Times.