Focal Point (for publishing-28/06/05)
NAIDOC Week- Action Packed
It's seems like only a few weeks after Reconciliation Week yet I can still sense the lingering taste of the Kangaroo and Emu sausage BBQ. I'm not quite sure what else was in those sausages but it sure was like garlic. What a great time that was, with the flag lowering and raising ceremonies, the story telling night at the Bohdi Tree and the fun day at Swinburne University. If you enjoyed that time or perchance you missed it, there is another celebration at hand. Sunday July the 3rd to Sunday the 10th is NAIDOC Week. It's the week when the National Aboriginal and Islander Day of Observation Committee celebrates what it means to be Aboriginal in this great land that they inhabited for thousands of years. NAIDOC was born out of the need to observe the passing of the traditional times and those who were dispossessed of their land and ancient rites and languages. There were approximately thirty-three different tribal groups in Victoria at the time of white settlement. In 2005 the struggle for many Aboriginal people is not over because the pain of the broken-ness and dispossession is still very real. There are Elders still alive today who saw their families' separated, and kin's folk neck chained in cattle cars. I am reading the novel 'Pemulwey' at the moment which is the story of one of the most feared defenders of his land from the British as they 'took over' New South Wales. He waged war for two years until the inevitable tide of white settlement over took him and his people. Of late however, NAIDOC Week has become a time of celebrating the new era that is being ushered in. As we noted in Reconciliation Week, the title of 'Sorry Day' has been changed to the National Day of Healing. Those who can understand the need to say sorry might still like to do so, but for all of us, whether of Aboriginal decent or newcomers to this land in the last two hundred years, surely healing is the way to go. The new Shire of Yarra Ranges Indigenous Advisory Committee in conjunction with the Elders has planned some exciting activities for the week. A coloring competition for primary schools is underway and there will be prizes given. On Monday the 4th there will be the opening of an Indigenous Art Exhibition at the Healesville Campus of Swinburne University. Arrive at around 10am. On Friday the 8th, The Local Annual NAIDOC Awards Presentation Dinner will be held at the Lilydale International Hotel at 7-00pm. Tickets available from Anne or Dosena at $30-00 per head. The Shire is also working with the City of Maroondah to co-host a fun day in the Mullum Mullum Reserve at Cheong Park, Ringwood on the 7th. There will be jumping castles, running races, information on health services, visits by the CFA and Police Services, and a BBQ lunch provided.
If you would like any more information ring Anne Jenkins at the Shire on 1300 368333 or Dosena Fergie on 1300 130381