NAIDOC Week celebrated in Gin Gin
A Yarning Place for the community
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.
JINJINBURRA: Lloyd Appo and Rob Geary celebrate NAIDOC Week in Gin Gin.