2018 NAIDOC Week celebrations kick off in the Hastings

Women celebrated: Members of the Birpai Mitjigan Dance Group will perform during NAIDOC Week celebrations in the Hastings.
Women celebrated: Members of the Birpai Mitjigan Dance Group will perform during NAIDOC Week celebrations in the Hastings.

NAIDOC Week will be a celebration of the contributions of indigenous women to their culture and our community and how they have shaped a positive future for new generations.

Because of Her, We Can recognises all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who play active and significant roles at local, state and national levels.

Across the Hastings from July 8, there will be a full program of events to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Local events will kick-off at 9.30am on Monday, July 9 with the Birpai Gamba (Call Out) and welcome to country at the Glasshouse forecourt in Port Macquarie, followed by a community march to the Town Green for the annual flag raising ceremony.

The popular NAIDOC Community Fun Days will also take place again this year, commencing at 10.30am on Tuesday, July 10 at Bain Park in Wauchope, and 10am on Thursday at the Port Macquarie race course.

The fun days will include traditional dances, art workshops and the opportunity for people to listen to local elders tell yarns and stories about the past.

NAIDOC Week offers the chance for all of us, no matter where we come from, to celebrate and immerse ourselves in our local history, culture and to celebrate the broader achievements of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people nationwide.

Lucilla Marshall

There will also be face painting, footy passing and lots of fun for the kids, as well as a ‘So You Think You’re Deadly’ talent show for all ages to enjoy.

Council’s group manager Lucilla Marshall said NAIDOC Week always carries great meaning for the Hastings community.

“Our community is built on the rich history and culture of our region’s first people, the Birpai people,” Ms Marshall said.

“NAIDOC Week offers the chance for all of us, no matter where we come from, to celebrate and immerse ourselves in our local history, culture and to celebrate the broader achievements of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people nationwide.”

Other celebrations during NAIDOC Week include a fun-run to be hosted by the Port Macquarie IMF Aboriginal Running Group at 7am on Wednesday, July 11 at Westport Park followed by a children’s fishing workshop between 12 noon and 2pm.

The annual Aboriginal Men’s NAIDOC Golf Challenge will conclude the week at Wingham Golf Course on Friday, July 13.

STRONG: Powerful Aboriginal women are being showcased for a NAIDOC Week exhibition. Photo: Arlene McInherny.

STRONG: Powerful Aboriginal women are being showcased for a NAIDOC Week exhibition. Photo: Arlene McInherny.

“The theme for NAIDOC Week this year is Because of Her, We Can and I wanted a way to show some of the strong and powerful Aboriginal women in our local community,” Ms McInherny said.

“Our women are strong and influential and this exhibition is a way they can tell their stories.

“The women showcased are currently based all over the Hastings but have ancestors who span lots of different nations.”

In the exhibition more than 15 women between the age of 12 and 70 talk about what the NAIDOC theme means to them.

The Because of Her, We Can exhibition will be at Sea Acres until July 20.

Meanwhile, Settlement City shopping centre is recognising the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women during NAIDOC Week and is sponsoring Nulla, a koala sculpture from Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail.

Nulla is a large fiberglass koala painted by local Indigenous artist Elwyn Toby who is a descendant of the Thungutti tribe. Nulla will be joined by other koalas by Indigenous artists, Alira, Guula and Koala Boy, to form a Hello Koalas Exhibition during NAIDOC Week.

For younger visitors during NAIDOC week, Settlement City will be offering free Indigenous sand art workshops. These daily workshops between 10am and noon from July 9-13 will get kids creating and making their own Indigenous artwork.

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