THE WAGGA community in all its nationalities, cultures and backgrounds vowed to see change in the way people of colour are treated in society at the Black Lives Matter rally.
The peaceful march down Baylis Street on Saturday morning saw hundreds of people walking in solidarity, and chanting, "All lives matter when black lives matter".
Led by Wiradjuri man Joe Williams, the march began at Bolton Park with a traditional smoking ceremony and dance by Wiradjuri women, paying their respects to the land and one another.
Aunty Isabel Reid, a Wiradjuri elder, opened the ceremony by welcoming all to the country.
"It gives me so much pleasure to welcome you all here to the land of the Wiradjuri people," she said.
Aboriginal flags, faces painted in reds, blacks and yellows, and banners bearing words filled with emotion made a bold statement in the city's centre.
"Our culture is the longest, continual race of man on this planet," Mr Williams said.
"We know every life matters, we just want to make it known that black lives matter too."
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The traditional smoking ceremony marked the cleansing of negativity from those in attendance.
"The smoke is about cleansing your body - let it come through you and take away all the bad things," Mr Williams said.
"When we smoke ourselves, we're cleansing not only our body, but our soul and our spirit."
The march officially began down the main street of Wagga at 10.30am, as hundreds chanted their powerful message to onlookers.
The halfway point saw ralliers kneel on one knee with their fists held high in the air as two minutes of silence fell over the crowd.
"With respect to the lives that have been lost oversees, to the lives that have been lost on our soil, to the black deaths in custody, to the racial inequality, we kneel here together today for a united front moving forward," Mr Williams said to the crowd.
"Wagga, we can lead many communities around this country by being united, by standing here today, by kneeling here today."
The march finished in the Civic Centre Precinct with a final address to the people of Wagga.
Mr Williams left the community with a message to consider moving forward.
"Racism isn't a black issue," he said, "Racism isn't a white issue. Racism is a people issue, and you have to do your bit to stamp it out."