Heal Country! – NAIDOC Week 2021 in Coffs Harbour Coffs Coast Coffs Coast News by News Of The Area - Modern Media - June 27, 2021 ‘Heal Country!’ is the theme for NAIDOC Week 2021. DURING this year’s NAIDOC Week everyone in the Coffs Harbour community is being invited to embrace First Nations’ cultural knowledge and understanding of Country as part of Australia’s national heritage and respect the culture and values of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders as they do the cultures and values of all Australians. ‘Heal Country!’ is the theme for NAIDOC Week 2021. Each year celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life. The week – 4-11 July – is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and to support our local Aboriginal community here on Gumbaynggirr country. Chair of Council’s Yandaarra Aboriginal Advisory Committee, Lloyd Lynwood said, “NAIDOC Week invites all Australians to join in a movement for a better future for our Aboriginal brothers, sisters and youngsters.” The Official Flag Raising Ceremony presented by Council and the Yandaarra Aboriginal Advisory Committee will be held at the Council Chamber on Monday, 5 July, at 10am. All are welcome to come along to participate. The event will also be livestreamed on the MyCoffs Connect Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/mycoffsconnect. The Ceremony will be followed by Morning Tea at the Norm Jordan Function Rooms at the Coffs Showground, featuring fun family activities and a range of organisations providing advice and information. The morning includes a ‘Stay on Country’ Housing Forum providing face-to-face access to a wide range of service providers specialising in housing needs who can offer assistance to Aboriginal Community members. Yandaarra Aunty Grace Roberts Community Awards. Aunty Grace Roberts was a local Aboriginal woman who history records as being a positive role model for her people and a person of great substance. She has had a positive and lasting impact on the Coffs Harbour community, and is recognised for her leadership and guidance. From her determination, and by example, she improved the quality of life for Aboriginal people in our city. The Yandaarra Aunty Grace Roberts Community Awards are held annually to coincide with NAIDOC Week. This year, they will be held on Friday, 9 July, at the Cavanbah Centre. This year 16 local nominees have been recognised for their achievements and community contribution. They are: Grace Roberts Memorial Community Development Award: Theresa Dootson, Desley Flanders, Kaleesha Morris, Karen Roberts, Lachlan Skinner. Community Organisation or Business of the Year Award: Aboriginal Employment Strategy, Garlambirla Guyuu Girrwaa Elders Group, Yarrawarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre. Youth of the Year Award: Kiera Bassett, Keith Dungay. Arts and Cultural Achievement Award: Reece Flanders, Troy Robinson, Jamie Telfer. The event will also celebrate Braith Wilson for the Sports Achievement Award, Noelene Skinner for the Aunty Award and Michael Gibbs for the Uncle Award. Event tickets are $5 each and include canapés and entertainment. They can be purchased via https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/yandaarra-aunty-grace-roberts-community-awards-tickets-157445655193 Please note that there will be a temporary road closure of Coff and Castle Streets outside the Council Chamber to accommodate the Flag Raising Ceremony and the crowd movement to the Showground on 5 July.