Port Stephens NAIDOC celebrations get underway

Uncle John Ridgeway performing the Welcome to Country ceremony at NAIDOC Week 2019.


IT may look a little different this year but Port Stephens will still be celebrating the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples this NAIDOC Week from 8 to 15 November.

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Celebrations kicked off on Monday 9 November with a live stream of the annual flag raising and the re-signing of the Yabang Gumba-Gu agreement, meaning road to tomorrow.

“NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for Australians of all walks of life to celebrate the valuable contributions Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make to our community and our country,” Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer said.

“This year’s theme Always Was, Always Will Be recognises that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years — our nation’s story didn’t begin with the first reported European contact.

“It’s an opportunity for all Australians to embrace and acknowledge the true history of our country.”

Mayor Palmer said Port Stephens Council is proud of the strong relationship it has with the local Worimi and Karuah Aboriginal Land Councils.

“The Worimi people are the traditional owners of this area and I’m proud of the strong relationship we have created by working alongside each other for many years.

“A great example of this is the Yabang Gumba-Gu Agreement, which we first signed during NAIDOC Week in 2018.

“This agreement is a roadmap for how we’ll work together to improve the lives of Aboriginal people living in our region both now and into the future.

“I’m pleased to say we’ve completed many of the actions on our roadmap, and we’ve developed more shared objectives to strive for in the coming years,” he said.

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