NAIDOC cel­e­bra­tions

Yarrawonga Chronicle - - Front Page -

More than 200 mem­bers of the com­mu­nity in­clud­ing school stu­dents and teach­ers joined mem­bers of the lo­cal Many Mobs group and fel­low lo­cal Indige­nous per­sons to walk the bridges as part of NAIDOC week’s con­nec­tions bridge walk last Tues­day, June 26.

NAIDOC week is a week-long event to cel­e­brate the his­tory, cul­ture and achieve­ments of Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Is­lan­der peo­ples in the com­mu­nity.

This year the na­tional theme of the week was ‘Be­cause of her, we can!’, which cel­e­brates the in­valu­able con­tri­bu­tions that Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Is­lan­der women have made and con­tinue to make to com­mu­ni­ties.

Last Tues­day, June 26 Yar­ra­wonga Health to­gether with lo­cal com­mu­nity group Many Mobs came to­gether to cel­e­brate the event in style.

Over 200 stu­dents and teach­ers from lo­cal pri­mary schools and kinder­gartens, lo­cal Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Is­lan­der peo­ples, along with staff and board mem­bers from Yar­ra­wonga Health, united to­gether to walk the Yar­ra­wonga Mul­wala Bridge, end­ing in a cer­e­mony of cel­e­bra­tion at Yar­ra­wonga Health’s Hub lawn.

Dur­ing the cel­e­bra­tion cer­e­mony the au­di­ence were treated with a dance per­for­mance by Brett Ross and lo­cal Abo­rig­i­nal stu­dents as well as a Wel­come to Coun­try from Yorta Yorta Elder and Abo­rig­i­nal De­vel­op­ment Of­fi­cer for the Njernda Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion, Aunty Vicki Walker.

The cer­e­mony was fol­lowed by a BBQ lun­cheon, and the com­mu­nity were en­cour­aged to spend time to­gether, yarn­ing and shar­ing cul­ture.

Op­er­a­tional Di­rec­tor of Com­mu­nity Ser­vices at Yar­ra­wonga Health Stephanie Kennedy said the theme of the NAIDOC week cel­e­bra­tions na­tion­wide was a well fit­ted theme for this year.

“Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Is­lan­der women have been pil­lars of so­ci­ety for cen­turies, and con­tinue to play ac­tive and sig­nif­i­cant roles in the com­mu­nity, lo­cal, state and na­tional lev­els,” Ms Kennedy said.

“These women have fought and con­tinue to fight for jus­tice, equal rights, and rights to coun­try, for law and jus­tice, ac­cess to ed­u­ca­tion, em­ploy­ment and to main­tain and cel­e­brate cul­ture, lan­guage, mu­sic and art.”

CEO of Yar­ra­wonga Health Elaine Mal­lows added to these com­ments say­ing Yar­ra­wonga Health was proud of their re­la­tion­ship with Many Mobs and were op­ti­mistic in stay­ing con­nected long into the fu­ture.

“We are in­cred­i­bly proud of our con­tin­ued sup­port and af­fil­i­a­tion with Many Mobs, and are pas­sion­ate about cel­e­bra­tions like this as they of­fer an in­cred­i­ble op­por­tu­nity for us to demon­strate our com­mit­ment to Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Is­lan­der peo­ples,” Ms Mel­lows said.

“It also demon­strates our uni­ver­sal cul­tural re­spect for ev­ery­one in our com­mu­nity from ev­ery cul­ture, her­itage and back­ground.”

Board mem­bers of Yar­ra­wonga Health and Many Mobs mem­bers spoke to the healthy crowd and en­joyed the days cel­e­bra­tions.

Indige­nous stu­dents of Yar­ra­wonga Col­lege P-12 per­form­ing their tra­di­tional, cul­tural dances.

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