Community urged to embrace NAIDOC Week

A community barbecue breakfast will kick off an action-packed week of council NAIDOC celebrations.

The breakfast, in the Civic Precinct from 8.30am this Monday (July 9) morning, will lead into the formal Flag Raising Ceremony at 10am.

During this ceremony, the Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island flags will be raised by special guests from the community.

The ceremony will include a welcome to country and guest speakers sharing their thoughts on this year’s NAIDOC theme, which is “Because of Her We Can”.

At 11am, crowds with be treated to a display of traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dancing.

At 11.30am, an exhibition of profiles honouring local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women will be unveiled in the Jubilee Community Centre (training room).  

Council is this year partnering with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service to stage the Flag Raising Ceremony and community breakfast.

Mackay Regional Council Libraries will also be getting into the NAIDOC spirit during the week with two exciting programs.

The first will offer local children the chance to learn about Aboriginal dance and language.

All children aged five to 12 in the Mackay region are invited to learn about local Aboriginal culture and language, the meaning behind Welcome to Country, history of the didgeridoo and Aboriginal connection to land and animals.

They will also learn to dance and sing in Aboriginal language to favourite children’s nursery rhymes and play games incorporating animal moves and the didgeridoo.

The workshops are proudly presented by Yuibera Elder Deb Netuschil and the Diranga Gangali Aboriginal Dancers.

They will be held at Dudley Denny City Library on Tuesday, July 10, from 10am to 11am, and Gordon White Library on Thursday, July 12, from 10am to 11am.

The second program, a presentation and workshop called Don’t Keep History a Mystery, will be held at Gordon White Library on Thursday, July 19.  

This full-day program, from 9am to 5pm, is for residents who are interested in finding out about their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander or South Sea Islander heritage.

The program will be delivered by the Community and Personal Histories Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and will focus on finding out information about your family history and how you or your family are connected to certain places.

Bookings are essential for both Library programs and can be made online at

Last, but not least, residents are encouraged to pop into Artspace Mackay to view the NAIDOC-inspired work on “The Wall”.

The Wall is an artist in residence exhibition program that offers Australian artists an opportunity to create an artwork directly onto the wall within the gallery.

In early June, Brisbane artist Luke Mallie created a boldly colourful and energetic work on the Artspace foyer wall that was inspired by his Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island heritage.

Luke – along with fellow Indigenous artists Ed Rigby and Charlie Wicking – has also contributed to Artspace’s Coastal Treasures: Free School Holiday Activities, which are running now during opening hours until Sunday, July 15, in the gallery’s workshop room.

The collection of art activities includes a paste-up mural, beach sculptures, drawing and collage for the whole family to enjoy.

Parental supervision is required, and you can stay for a few minutes, a few hours, and visit as many times as you’d like.

About the NAIDOC Week and the theme:

NAIDOC Week 2018 will celebrate the invaluable contributions that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have made – and continue to make – to our communities, our families, our rich history and to our nation. Under the theme “Because of her, we can!” NAIDOC Week 2018 will be held nationally from Sunday, July 8 and will continue through to Sunday, July 15.