Cul­ture, her­itage and pride

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Adam McCleery adam.mccleery@cnbtimes.com.au

CLEM Shad­ford is old enough to re­mem­ber a time when he was dis­cour­aged from cel­e­brat­ing his in­dige­nous her­itage.

That is why NAIDOC Week is so sig­nif­i­cant for the Gayn­dah res­i­dent.

“When I went to school we were never al­lowed to talk about the Aboriginal ways, that is what our par­ents taught us but now it is back and we can share our cul­ture,” Mr Shad­ford said.

Now, NAIDOC Week cel­e­bra­tions are held right across the coun­try ev­ery year to cel­e­brate the his­tory, cul­ture and achieve­ments of Aboriginal and Tor­res Strait Is­lan­der peo­ples.

“Be­cause of that we are start­ing to see the cul­tural his­tory come back,” Mr Shad­ford said.

Be­ing able to cel­e­brate and learn more over the years has al­lowed Mr Shad­ford a chance to be­come deeply con­nected with his an­ces­tors.

“I didn’t know much about our cul­ture back then but now I’ve learned so much,” Mr Shad­ford said.

“The lan­guage, the her­itage of the land that I come from.”

Mr Shad­ford’s grand­daugh­ter So­phie said she was proud to be able to em­brace her cul­ture and not have to en­dure what her grand­fa­ther’s gen­er­a­tion went through.

“It is re­ally good to be able to come to things like this and rep­re­sent our cul­ture,” So­phie said.

“Grow­ing up now, I’ve ac­tu­ally had a chance to know about our cul­ture from the be­gin­ning.”

So­phie said she was glad to know that in­dige­nous cul­ture and his­tory was some­thing to be em­braced to­day in­stead of still be­ing dis­cour­aged like gen­er­a­tions gone by.

“I would have been very dis­ap­pointed and up­set if I wasn’t able to talk and learn about it,” So­phie said.

NAIDOC Week and other com­mem­o­ra­tive days have given So­phie the op­por­tu­nity to honour her her­itage.

“I do feel pride and it is good to be around this type of thing,” So­phie said.

PHO­TOS: ADAM MCCLEERY

FUN DAY: Ac­tiv­i­ties were put on to keep ev­ery­one en­ter­tained at Gayn­dah NAIDOC Week cel­e­bra­tions.

The spirit of NAIDOC Week.

Clem Shad­ford help­ing set up some NAIDOC ac­tiv­i­ties.

Jess Euler and her daugh­ter, Zoe, hav­ing fun at the IWC NAIDOC fam­ily day.

The IWC hosted fam­ily day for NAIDOC Week.

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