NAIDOC is a celebration for the whole community
Published: 02 Jul 2019
Mackay's NAIDOC Street Parade on Friday, July 12, is colourful, loud and cheerful.
Horns blow, flags are flown and hundreds of locals, from toddlers to elders – all beaming with pride – march from Macalister Street to Queens Park.
Above all, it’s a celebration.
Mayor Greg Williamson said NAIDOC Week, from Sunday, July 7, to Sunday, July 14, was celebrated not only in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, but by Australians from all walks of life.
“This week is a tremendous opportunity to participate in a range of activities and to support our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,” Cr Williamson said.
He said the street parade and the family fun day that followed in the park were a wonderful culmination of local NAIDOC celebrations but encouraged residents to enjoy all of what the week had to offer.
Festivities kick off in the Civic Precinct on the Monday (July 8) with council’s Flag Raising Ceremony.
“I’d welcome anyone and everyone to come down to our Civic Precinct, near the fountain, for the Flag Raising Ceremony,” Cr Williamson said.
“From 10am there will be guest speakers, cultural performances and morning tea and it’s a fantastic way to support our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and recognise their achievements.”
Cr Fran Mann said Mackay Regional Council Libraries and Artspace were also celebrating NAIDOC Week with a variety of activities, readings and workshops.
“Artspace have drop-in activities all week where you can take part in art making activities inspired by Yuwibara language of the Mackay region,” Cr Mann said.
“There’ll be rubber stamping, artists’ book making and drawing activities for all ages,” she said.
“Libraries are also offering plenty of interactive activities, from palm frond weaving and bark art workshops to readings of the Very Hungry Caterpillar story in traditional Yuwibara language.”
The reading of a much-loved children’s book in traditional language ties in with this year’s NAIDOC Week theme, which is “Voice. Treaty. Truth. Let’s work together for a shared future”.
National NAIDOC Co Chair John Paul Janke said 2019 offered a unique opportunity to hear this nation’s Indigenous voice, with the year being celebrated as the UN’s International Year of Indigenous Languages.
“It’s time for our knowledge to be heard through our voice – an Indigenous voice of this country that is over 65,000 plus years old,” Mr Janke said.
“They are the first words spoken on this continent. Languages that passed down lore, culture and knowledge for over millennia,” he said.
The 2019 theme also acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have always wanted an enhanced role in decision-making in Australia’s democracy.
Find out more about the 2019 theme at naidoc.org.au
- Flag Raising Ceremony and Cultural Activities
Monday, July 8, 10am at the Council Civic Precinct
- Artspace – Drawing with Language Holiday Activity
Monday, July 8 to Sunday, July 14 (10am to 5pm weekdays and 10am to 3pm on the weekend)
- Mackay Regional Council Library NAIDOC activities
From Tuesday, July 9, at various libraries. Details at mackay.qld.gov.au/whatson
- NAIDOC Street Parade and Family Day, Friday, July 12
March assembles at Macalister Street from 9am for a 10am start. Family Day begins in Queens Park on arrival of Street Parade (about 11am).