Traditional welcome a first for port

Saskia AdystiAlbany Advertiser
Local Kwongkan Middar dancers Jordan Hayward and Luke Mowaljarlai greet passengers off the Sea Princess, Tuesday morning.
Camera IconLocal Kwongkan Middar dancers Jordan Hayward and Luke Mowaljarlai greet passengers off the Sea Princess, Tuesday morning. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Albany has welcomed its first cruise ship of the year, the 2000-passenger Sea Princess, with an indigenous dance.

The dance was performed by Kwongkan Middars, which means Sand Dancers in the Noongar language.

Southern Ports said it was the first time cruise ship passengers had been greeted by indigenous dancers at Albany Port.

Jordan Hayward and Luke Mowaljarlai, both 15, performed the traditional emu dance on a sandy platform at the port’s welcome shed.

Local Kwongkan Middar dancers Jordan Hayward and Luke Mowaljarlai greet passengers off the Sea Princess, Tuesday morning.
Camera IconLocal Kwongkan Middar dancers Jordan Hayward and Luke Mowaljarlai greet passengers off the Sea Princess, Tuesday morning. Credit: Laurie Benson/Pictures: Laurie Benson, Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington said it was great to see the Noongar community involved in a new initiative led by Southern Ports as part of their reconciliation commitment.

“A lot of people come to Australia looking for indigenous experiences and don’t find them,” Mr Wellington said.

“I believe 80 per cent of the tourists want it but only about 40 per cent are finding it.

“If we can provide that from Albany it’s a good thing and it’s something that we support.”

Mr Wellington said Albany was recently voted the second most popular Australian port in an internal survey conducted by one of the cruise lines.

When asked if Albany Port’s welcome shed should be upgraded, Mr Wellington said that was up to Southern Ports.

“That’s probably a good idea but you’ve got to have a look at the economic base of it all,” he said.

“I’m sure everyone would like us to have a proper terminal, but I don’t think we’ve got enough ships coming to our port to warrant that.

“With the recent port upgrade certainly our port looks better now compared to what it was before.

“And it will continue to be improved throughout the years as we receive more visitors coming in,” he said.

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