Supplied by Cherissma Blackman
First Nations Couple to Wed in Cultural Wedding Traditional Ceremony
Quandamooka nunukul man Lincoln Costelloe and Gooreng Gooreng/Yidinji/Meriem Mer & Meerooni woman Cherissma Blackman are celebrating their marriage on the 28th September at Wogun Bay (1770) Southern Yimir (Great Barrier Reef) on the traditional lands and seas of her Port Curtis coral coast peoples.
The last known cultural union in the area is that of Cherissma’s paternal great grandparents at the Miriam Vale common in the early 1900’s - Meerooni man Victor Blackman to Gooreng Gooreng woman Anni Williams, daughter of Ellen (Cameron) and John Williams of Murrays Creek (Berojonda).
Cherissma says, “we are the descendants of old people who still managed to practice their culture, connection and law, under racist conditions offered to them at the time and still thrive. This is the spirit that guides us families, clans, tribes and nations in our cultural obligations under law. It is in our DNA, embedded deep in our people.”
Lincoln Costelloe, who is an artist and cultural performer, says he is excited to participate in the special ceremony. He has never seen a cultural wedding before and the first one he is attending will be his own. Lincoln’s family will come and perform a major part of the ceremony which will entail two traditional dances to welcome Cherissma into their clan, the Nunukul Quandamooka people of Stradbroke island.
Lincoln’s clan includes his great aunty Oodgeroo Nunukul/Walker, Aunty Oodgeroo’s descendants and Lincoln’s immediate family will be attending, participating & performing.
Cherissma’s family will also continue their cultural traditions - hunting, gathering and perform (Aboriginal, Torres Strait Island and Vanuatu) song, dance, blessings all in languages.
Lincoln & Cherissma would also like to thank the Gladstone Regional Council for their cooperation, support and acknowledgment of the ILUA (Indigenous Land Use Agreement with the PCCC). That agreement, signed in November 2016, sets out responsibilities of each party, recognises native title rights and interests. That recognition is which supports Cherissma’s request to continue the PCCC’s strong cultural ties as traditional owners.
Lincoln & Cherissma want future generations to continue the ancient cultural practice of marriages, ceremonies just like their ancestors have done for thousands of years.
Both ceremonies will be ordained by Cherissma’s Uncle, Reverend Shayne Blackman, who is an Elder of the Meerooni people. Lincoln and Cherissma will both carry the surname Blackman- Costelloe.
The cultural ceremony will commence at 3pm at the main beach 1770, with the traditional white wedding to occur at 5pm, reception to follow at the community hall in Agnes.
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Lincoln Costello and Cherissman Blackman. Image: supplied