“Right around Australia this week, many thousands of people are taking part in hundreds of events to celebrate our rich indigenous cultures,” said Shire President Lynne Craigie OAM who opened the ceremony.
“Although NAIDOC is primarily a week of celebration, it is also a cause for reflection. The story of NAIDOC Week is one of struggle and of determination – for recognition, for rights and for respect for Aboriginal people in this nation of ours.”
The opening ceremony included a flag raising ceremony where students participating in Newman Senior High School’s Follow the Dream program raised the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags alongside Senior Sergeant Russell Evans who raised the National flag. Prior to the flag raising, proud Noongar woman and long-term local resident, Phyllis Lockyer performed some of her favourite songs.
Cr. Craigie also took the opportunity to encourage members of the indigenous community to nominate for council as part of the Local Government Elections on October 19.
“We encourage nominations from members of our Indigenous community to stand for election as we would welcome greater Indigenous representation on Council,” she said.
NAIDOC Week celebrations will continue until July 14 with activities and events taking place in Newman, concluding with a closing ceremony concert at Boomerang Oval.