Indigenous sailors perform at Navy’s Change of Command
28 June 2014
The Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, AO, CSC, RAN, has formally named Navy’s Indigenous Performance Group ‘Bungaree’, in honour of an important Indigenous maritime figure.
The group will perform for the first time under its new name on Monday, at Chief of Navy’s Change of Command ceremony in Sir Thomas Blamey Square in Canberra.
King Bungaree of the Garigal clan from Broken Bay, NSW was a diplomat and explorer who circumnavigated the continent with Matthew Flinders in the sloop HMS Investigator during 1802-03.
“King Bungaree played a key role in Australia’s early coastal exploration. His achievements, though not widely known, deserve recognition as part of Australia’s maritime history,” Admiral Griggs said.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a long and proud history of service in the Royal Australian Navy and this name reflects on the past while we celebrate the diversity of our future.”
Bungaree members wear a mix of traditional dress and naval uniform representing both their traditional and military heritages. Their performances reflect both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditions and were first displayed at the 2013 International Fleet Review.
Representing clans and nations from as far afield as Torres Strait to the western plains of New South Wales—all are either officers or sailors of the Royal Australian Navy.
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