Senator attends NAIDOC event
QUEENSLAND Senator Mark Furner was a special guest at yesterday’s National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) celebrations at the Proserpine Community Centre.
Mr Furner said the NAIDOC celebrations were a great opportunity for the community to not only be educated about indigenous people but to celebrate their wonderful culture.
“I’m pretty fortunate to have been on the community affairs committee in the senate where we have a lot of involvement with indigenous affairs and I’ve experienced the need for the acknowledgement of indigenous people and a need for having people understand why we need to close the gap,” he said.
Member for Dawson George Christensen said the event showcased the work of some talented people in the local indigenous community.
“As an elected representative of the community, I am making a special effort to attend community events like this to say to the Aboriginal and Islander community that you are a respected part of our community,” he said.
Proserpine resident Marie Coleman is a fourth generation descendant of the Gia tribe of Proserpine and Gnaro tribe of the Whitsundays and proudly welcomed all in attendance onto the land of her ancestors.
Year 12 Proserpine State High student Tyler Boyd said he was honoured to see his grandmother perform the traditional welcome in recognition of NAIDOC week.
“You learn so much more about our traditional Aboriginal culture outside of school and I think it is great to see everyone coming together,” he said.
The large crowd wandered through the displays of indigenous artwork by local residents Eisha ‘Kemerr’ Davison and Sally ‘Pannaga’ Davison while enjoying live music by Jeni Borellini and Jan Waetford, a sausage sizzle and face painting with Vivian Mook.
STANDING PROUD: Proserpine Community Centre president Col Mengel, Senator of Queensland Mark Furner, co-ordinator of Proserpine Community Center Cathie Evans, Member for Dawson George Christensen, Proserpine State High School students Tyler Boyd and Manny McAvoy with their grandmother Marie Coleman and Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan joined together for the NAIDOC week celebrations yesterday.