Wingecarribee Shire Council and the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community will officially kick off NAIDOC Week celebrations with a flag raising ceremony at the Civic Centre in Moss Vale from 10am on Monday 6 July.
Members of the public are invited to attend the ceremony, which will be held outside the Council Civic Centre, before moving indoors to the Theatrette for a performance from the Flame Tree Dancers and a presentation from Moss Vale High School. A free morning tea will also be provided.
Following a visit from Aboriginal community members, Council’s Foyer Gallery will showcase artwork from local children featuring their interpretation of this year’s NAIDOC Week theme, ‘We all Stand on Sacred Ground: Learn, Respect and Celebrate’. Artefacts from the Aboriginal Community Cultural Centre will also be on display.
“NAIDOC Week which stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee, is one of this Shire’s most important annual events and one which this Council looks forward to each year,” Wingecarribee Shire Mayor, Councillor Duncan Gair said.
“It provides the perfect opportunity to celebrate our rich Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and continue to build an Australia that appreciates and reflects the achievements and aspirations of all our people.”
This year’s theme of celebration is ‘We all Stand on Sacred Ground’ and highlights Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ strong spiritual and cultural connection to land and sea.
It was also specifically chosen to celebrate the anniversary of the ‘hand back’ of Uluru to its traditional owners 30 years ago.
Wingecarribee’s NAIDOC celebrations will continue through the week with a Family Fun Day at the Wingecarribee Aboriginal Community and Cultural Centre on Rainbow Road in Mittagong on Sunday 12 July from 10am to 2pm.
Activities will include a traditional dance performance, Aboriginal art class, Dreamtime stories, performance by award winning singer Johnny Huckle, jumping castle, traditional games, a Mineral Springs history walk, didgeridoo classes plus many more. Traditional food will be on offer, along with a sausage sizzle and other snacks.
“I encourage everyone to learn more about our country’s first people and attend one of the many NAIDOC Week events being held across our Shire during this year’s celebrations,” the Mayor added.
For more information about Wingecarribee Shire Council’s NAIDOC Week program of events contact Council’s Aboriginal Community Development Officer, Melissa Wiya on 4868 0856 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.