NAIDOC Week cel­e­brated in Gin Gin

A Yarn­ing Place for the com­mu­nity

Isis Town and Country - - Front Page - Jodie Dixon Jodie.Dixon@isistc­news.com.au

NAIDOC Week cel­e­brates the his­tory, cul­ture and achieve­ments of Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Is­lan­der peo­ple.

Indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties em­brace the in­creas­ing num­ber of govern­ment agen­cies, schools, lo­cal coun­cils and work­places tak­ing part in the week of cel­e­bra­tions.

The Na­tional Abo­rig­ines and Is­landers Day Ob­ser­vance Com­mit­tee (NAIDOC) ac­tiv­i­ties are held across Aus­tralia and in­clude cul­tural and ed­u­ca­tional ac­tiv­i­ties in schools and work­places and pub­lic dis­plays.

The Yarn­ing Place in Gin Gin is neatly po­si­tioned be­hind the old Gin Gin train sta­tion where the com­mu­nity has a place to meet.

Lo­cal res­i­dent Rob Geary said the Yarn­ing Place, opened two years ago, was pop­u­lar with lo­cals.

“It’s a place to re­flect and calm your­self and a place for meet­ing,” Mr Geary said.

The Jin­jin­burra Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion was founded by the late Ron Munro.

Mr Munro wanted to share his knowl­edge of his cul­ture and his skills in artefact mak­ing and paint­ing.

He wanted lo­cal Abo­rig­i­nal youths, schools and the wider com­mu­nity to have a greater un­der­stand­ing of his cul­ture and its tra­di­tions.

Mr Geary said NAIDOC Week brought a di­verse com­mu­nity to­gether.

Ma­jor Abo­rig­i­nal or­gan­i­sa­tions, state and fed­eral gov­ern­ments, and a num­ber of church groups all sup­ported the for­ma­tion of the Na­tional Abo­rig­ines and Is­landers Day Ob­ser­vance Com­mit­tee (NAIDOC).

At the same time, the sec­ond Sun­day in July be­came a day of remembrance for Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple and their her­itage.

In 1972, the De­part­ment of Abo­rig­i­nal Af­fairs was formed as a ma­jor out­come of the 1967 ref­er­en­dum.

The NAIDOC com­mit­tee in 1974 was com­posed en­tirely of Abo­rig­i­nal mem­bers for the first time.

The fol­low­ing year, it was de­cided that the event should cover a week, from the first to sec­ond Sun­day in July.

In 1984, NAIDOC asked that Na­tional Abo­rig­ines Day be made a na­tional pub­lic hol­i­day to help cel­e­brate and recog­nise the rich cul­tural his­tory that makes Aus­tralia unique.

While this has not hap­pened, other groups have echoed the call.

With a grow­ing aware­ness of the dis­tinct cul­tural his­to­ries of Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Is­lan­der peo­ple, NAIDOC was ex­panded to recog­nise Tor­res Strait Is­lan­der peo­ple and their cul­ture.

The com­mit­tee then be­came known as NAIDOC.

This new name has be­come the ti­tle for the whole week, not just the day.

Each year, a theme is cho­sen to re­flect the im­por­tant is­sues and events for NAIDOC Week.

The na­tional NAIDOC theme for 2016 is Song­lines: The liv­ing nar­ra­tive of our na­tion.

For Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Is­lan­der peo­ple, the Dream­time de­scribes a time when the earth, peo­ple and an­i­mals were cre­ated by our an­ces­tral spir­i­tual be­ings.

They cre­ated the rivers, lakes, plants, land for­ma­tions and liv­ing crea­tures. Dream­ing tracks cross Aus­tralia and trace the jour­neys of their past.

PHOTO: JODIE DIXONBIT030716NAIDOC04

JIN­JIN­BURRA: Lloyd Appo and Rob Geary cel­e­brate NAIDOC Week in Gin Gin.

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