Celebrating NAIDOC Week

wimmera unitingcare
NAIDOC Week, celebrated on the first full week of July every year, is an opportunity to recognise the contributions Indigenous Australians make to this country.

This year’s theme is ‘We All Stand on Sacred Ground’ and acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ deep spiritual connection with land and sea. The theme was chosen to celebrate the anniversary of the ‘handback’ of Uluru to its traditional owners 30 years ago.

The Wimmera community recently launched NAIDOC Week celebrations with a special morning tea at Wimmera UnitingCare.

The launch was attended by approximately 50 people, including representatives from the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. The main foyer was decorated with NAIDOC posters dating back to 1972, which will be on public display for the rest of the week.

Tracey Rigney is coordinator of the Delkaia Aboriginal Best Start program based at Wimmera UnitingCare. The program offers early years support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.

“It was very special to kick off NAIDOC week locally here at Wimmera UnitingCare for our community,” Ms Rigney said.

“Today’s exhibition showcases all of the NAIDOC posters from the 1970s through to the present day.

“It was a great turn-out and lots of our community were commenting on the building and its features. Lots of smiling faces young and old and a great way to celebrate our culture and community.”

Events celebrating NAIDOC week are being held throughout Australia this week. One popular way of acknowledging the achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is through Indigenous art exhibitions and film nights.

Reconciliation Banyule hosts a film night at Ivanhoe Uniting Church once a month. In recognition of NAIDOC Week, there will be a free screening of two short films on Monday 6 July from 7:30pm. Lurujarri Dreaming tells the story of the Goolarabooloo community of Western Australia and their connection with their sacred land. Big Name, No Blanket is an inspiring documentary on Indigenous rock and roll music.

The national NAIDOC committee is encouraging all Australians to learn about, respect and celebrate sacred sites this week. Some of their suggestions include:

• Inviting elders to talk about local sacred sites.
• Learning the traditional names and stories for places, mountains and rivers around your region.
• Discovering how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are working to protect these places.

NAIDOC Week will run from 5 July to 12 July. Visit the NAIDOC Week website for a list of events happening in your local area.

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