NAIDOC Ceremony welcomes special guest

Published: 29 Jun 2021

Council's NAIDOC Flag Raising Ceremony will feature a performance by one of Australia’s elite contemporary dancers.

After a decade performing with Bangarra Dance Theatre across the world, including at the Closing Ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, Patrick Thaiday has returned home to Mackay.

Mayor Greg Williamson said it was the second year Mackay residents had been fortunate to have Patrick, along with the Indigenous Contemporary NAIDOC Ensemble, perform at the ceremony.

“Last year, his performance had everyone entranced – watching the way he represents his culture, people and art through dance is truly special,” Mayor Williamson said.

Also appearing at the ceremony on Monday, July 5, at 10am are The Mackay Torres Strait Islander Dancers who will perform traditional cultural dance.

The Mayor said the raising of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags by community members confirmed and symbolised the respect our region had for our First Nations communities.

“Everyone is welcome to join us for a morning of reflection, music, traditional dancing and some morning tea,” he said.

“This year will likely be a poignant ceremony as we remember those community members, like Nolear (Nana) Ramsamy, a past flag raiser and community elder, who we lost this year.”

He said the 2021 NAIDOC theme “Heal Country” was especially relevant this year following our region’s Traditional Custodians, the Yuwi people, receiving their Native Title determination in February last year.

“Council is committed to ensuring there is appropriate engagement and empowerment of the Yuwi people in matters of country and cultural knowledge,” he said.

Also attending the event will be the NAIDOC 2021 Pageant Winners, Joshua Yow Yeh (Mr NAIDOC) and Jayla Yasserie (Miss NAIDOC).

Mackay Regional Council Libraries and the Jubilee Community Centre are celebrating NAIDOC Week with exhibitions and activities.

Gordon White Library is showcasing some of Dylan Mooney’s latest artwork from Friday, July 2, to Monday, July 12. His exhibition includes artworks inspired by First Nations history, culture and personal ancestry.

Also at the libraries, this time Dudley Denny City Library on Wednesday, July 7, is Deep Listening, a mediative experience featuring the earthy and soothing sounds of the didgeridoo.

Jubilee Community Centre is also highlighting a collection of local Indigenous artists’ works during NAIDOC Week.

About NAIDOC 2021

The NAIDOC 2021 theme Heal Country! calls for all of us to continue to seek greater protections for our lands, our waters, our sacred sites and our cultural heritage from exploitation, desecration, and destruction. NAIDOC Week 2021 will be held from Sunday, July 4, to Sunday, July 11.