The Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra has hosted what is believed to be its very first wedding.
Kristie and John Simpson were married at the historic site last Saturday, August 18.
No one can remember a wedding being held there before. The embassy was established in 1972.
"It was a moment in time,'' Kristie said.
The couple are proud Aboriginal people, originally from Coonamble. They felt pulled towards the Tent Embassy as their wedding venue.
"I guess because of our strong cultural connections. We need a place to connect and belong. I guess it's our calling,'' Kristie said.
John, a former elite boxer, and Kristie both went to school together. Their families knew each other. They first truly met each other at a club when they were 19 or 20. They were together for about a year and then when their separate ways for 15 years.
"Then we found our way back to each other,'' Kristie said. The couple has since relocated to the Canberra region.
Canberra celebrant Julie Rattenbury officiated at the wedding which featured a traditional, cleansing smoking ceremony and traditional dancers. There was also a fair dose of old-fashioned romanticism as Kristie sang the Ronan Keating ballad, This I Promise You as she walked towards John.
Kristie, nee Pearson, is from the Yorta Yorta people, around southern NSW and north-eastern Victoria. John, is from the Wiradjuri people from around south-western NSW.
He described being married at the Tent Embassy as "very special''.
"We're very proud and tied to our culture,'' Kristie said. "And being off country, the Tent Embassy is known as a meeting place.
"We want to thank our Tent Embassy family: Uncle Tea-Bags, Uncle Kumba, Aunty Wendy, Little Stan and many more, too many to mention but each and every one of them made this magical, history-making moment in time happen.''
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