‘I’ve always liked NAIDOC week- it brings people together to learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and ways of life. The fabulous thing about NAIDOC Week is it continues to grow each year!’
– Theresa, Acting Aboriginal Specialist Worker and Court Advocacy Support Worker, of WSCLC’s domestic violence service.
WSCLC held three events this year for NAIDOC Week 2018- in Doonside, Parramatta, and Penrith. This year’s theme was ‘because of her, we can!’ The celebrations focused on contributions that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women make to their families and communities.
The WSCLC Doonside event was held at the Bert Sanders Reserve, and was hosted by the Ngallu Wal Aboriginal Child & Family Centre. The organising effort was led by our fabulous Rooty Hill office. The day’s proceedings began with dances and Didgeridoo music. Free lunch and drinks were provided to all. The event had inflatable castles, a mechanical bull and great music! Our Centre distributed WSCLC brochures, and did some great networking with other organisations and community members.
Photos: (Above left) Solicitor Hemal at the WSCLC NAIDOC stall in Doonside, and (above right) performances at the Doonside event.
Our second NAIDOC stall was held in Jamison Park, Penrith on Friday 13 July. The organising effort was driven by our fantastic Western Sydney Tenants’ Service (WESTS). Jamison Park was one of the biggest NAIDOC celebrations held in NSW- approximately 4,000 people were in attendance!
Franya, the coordinator of WESTS, accompanied by Fern, a Tenant Advocate, oversaw the stall. 500 show bags, jam-packed with information about tenancy assistance, were snapped up. A number of services, like Muru Mittigar, Centrelink, Legal Aid, and community housing service providers were at the event. One service was very keen for WESTS to run a community information session on tenants’ rights and obligations after seeing our stall at the event. There were a number of performances by members of the community and live music. The fire brigade had a truck on site, and attendees had great fun experimenting with the hose. Free lunch and drinks kept the participants energised throughout the day.
Our final NAIDOC event was held in Parramatta Park on Sunday 15 July. It was coordinated by Theresa of WSCLC’s hard-working domestic violence service. The information bags WSCLC handed out were incredibly popular. Passers by were keen to hear about our domestic violence service and the slew of other services WSCLC had to offer. The day was vibrant and full of workshops, dance, music, and market stalls. There was a women’s tent at the event, and awards were handed out to people performing incredible work in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Singer-songwriter Casey Donovan did an amazing performance. The event culminated with a live eel performance and some outstanding fireworks.
Finally, speaking to the importance of attending events such as those for NAIDOC week, Theresa from the WSCLC domestic violence service stated, ‘ knowledge is power- get to know your local Indigenous community. The more you know, the more you understand about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture’.
Blog feature photo (first image in this post) is the 2018 National NAIDOC logo.