NAIDOC week is coming up again, and there are some wonderful events planned for Port Stephens.
National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) week takes place this year from 2-9 July, and is held yearly to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The theme of this year’s NAIDOC week celebrations is ‘Our languages matter’.
Celebrations this year will be actively aimed at the need to hold on to Aboriginal language dialects in Australia.
The week will emphasise and celebrate the unique and essential role that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages play in cultural identity, linking people to their land, and in the transmission of history, spirituality and rites.
Murrook Cultural Centre has four special events planned, as well as the PCYC Nations of Origin sports tournament.
July 3 will see the NAIDOC March in Raymond Terrace and on 5 July Murrook will host the NAIDOC community barbecue at Nelson Bay.
July 6 will see the Port Stephens NAIDOC Touch Championship teams take to the field with the local Aboriginal Community, NSW Police, St John Ambulance, NSW Fire and Rescue (Emergency Services), Port Stephens Council and the Royal Australian Air Force coming together for one day to compete in a touch football tournament.
On July 7, Murrook Cultural Centre will host another wonderful NAIDOC week family fun day at the Cultural Centre at Williamtown.
July 11-13 will see the PCYC Nations of Origin multi-sport tournament take over Raymond Terrace.
The competition has quickly become the largest Aboriginal Youth sporting event in NSW with more than 3500 participants since it began three years ago.
The tournament will have three sports available; Rugby League 7s, Football 5s and Netball.
The Nations of Origin tournament serves a grand purpose, focusing on reconciliation, education, sport and cultural identity.
Students participating in the teams must have 80 percent attendance at school as a minimum, and all teams must have both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal participants, with a 70:30 ratio.
There are a wide variety of events to get involved in.
Head to the respective webpages and Facebook sites for further details.
By Rachael VAUGHAN