Culture, heritage and pride
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.
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.