NAIDOC Week celebrated

Published on 07 July 2017

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More than 100 people joined the Benalla NAIDOC week celebrations at the Sir Edward "Weary" Dunlop Learning Centre (Benalla Library) on Thursday 6 July, as part of NAIDOC Week held from 2 to 9 July, 2017.

The event was sponsored by Benalla Rural City Council, Friends of Benalla Library and the Central Hume Primary Care Partnership and coordinated by the Benalla NAIDOC Week Committee.

As part of the NAIDOC Week celebrations designed to increase the understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture, Mayor, Cr Don Firth joined students in decorating the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flag, with students then enjoying boomerang painting, decorating the NAIDOC Week banner, story time and short film screenings.

"The theme of this year’s NAIDOC celebrations was "Our Languages Matter", celebrating the unique and essential role that Indigenous languages play in cultural identity, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, spirituality and rites, told through storytelling and song," Cr Firth said.

Celebrations began with An Acknowledgement of Country by the Mayor and local young students.

Desiree Walker read Welcome to Country written by Wurundjeri Elder Aunty Joy Murphy, and Bobbinaworra, the story of the pelican, written by Uncle Freddie Dowling.

Koorie Engagement Support Officer, Jessica Mobourne spoke about the meanings of the Aboriginal and the Torres Strait Islander flags.

NAIDOC Week is held in the first full week of July and is a time to celebrate Aboriginal history, culture and achievements.

The Mayor acknowledged the collaborative effort that made this year’s NAIDOC Week celebration such a success.

"Thank you to Central Hume Primary Care Partnership (CHPCP), the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), MIND Australia, the Benalla Men’s Shed and volunteers from the community for bringing this event together," Cr Firth said.