Cultural celebrations end in style
City of Karratha councillor Evette Smeathers dances up a storm with MC Sean Choolburra at the NAIDOC Community Concert in Roebourne last Sunday. The concert marked the end of the city’s NAIDOC celebrations for 2017.
NAIDOC Week was a busy time in the Shire of Ashburton as local communities joined in the celebrations of culture, history and achievements of Australia’s indigenous people.
Shire president Kerry White said NAIDOC Week was a time to celebrate the history and diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.
“Presenting the wider community with the opportunity to learn more about, and experience, indigenous culture is important to keeping traditions and history alive,” she said.
A Welcome to Country, smoking ceremonies, music and dance, a traditional food showcase and storytelling attracted community participation throughout the week.
Residents enjoyed gathering around the fire pits and tasting billy tea, damper and kangaroo stew, as well as learning more about language and history.
Rio Tinto communities and communications general manager Linda Dawson said NAIDOC Week was integral to recognising indigenous traditions.
“These events in Pannawonica, Paraburdoo and Tom Price enable the community to get involved and learn more about traditional indigenous culture, hearing their stories and participating in their customs,” she said.
In Tom Price, Phil Walley-Stack performed, followed by a fire dance by Marlon Cooke and a group of local community members.
Yinhawangka Aboriginal Corporation hosted a luncheon for elders in Paraburdoo, followed by an evening of celebration and entertainment featuring Derby Band.
Festivities in Pannawonica included live entertainment from the Red Ochre Band, a performance by Mayaga Made and visual displays from Parla Pooni and the Pannawonica Primary School.
Onslow residents enjoyed a NAIDOC darts competition at the Sports Club and Thalanyji Aboriginal Corporation donated books to the Onslow Library.