Celebrating NAIDOC Week, NCIE-style
REDFERN: 2019 marked the anniversary of the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence’s (NCIE) tenth NAIDOC Week celebrations.
NAIDOC Week has long been a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and aims to promote the importance of recognising First Peoples’ connection to country. The week-long celebration brings communities together.
Celebrations at NCIE on Friday July 12 began with a welcome to country, followed by a traditional smoking ceremony, speakers, dancers, performers and films all fitting within the national NAIDOC theme: “Voice. Treaty. Truth.”
Children and adults joined in festivities, enjoying games of footy, tennis, basketball – and the running track with the Elders.
Aunty Beryl Van Oploo, a Kamilaroi Elder and culinary inspiration, gave a bush tucker masterclass. The food did not last long as many went back for seconds, fourths and sevenths. I only managed one serving – thank you Aunty!
Performances by Rebecca Hatch, Jarrod Hickling, Mi-Kaisha, Sonboy, Tribal Warrior Dancers, Kiris An Taran, Nana Miss Koori, With One Voice Redfern Choir, RYC Dancers, Shanell Dargan, and Green Hand Band impressed.
The importance of maintaining Indigenous languages was highlighted when children from all walks of life sat down to listen to story-telling in Indigenous languages as well as English. Even though some may not have understood the words, the delivery truly touched the heart.
Businesses and government organisations set up stalls throughout the day and educated attendees on a range of services available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.