Week to celebrate culture of First Nation people

Holly ThompsonSound Telegraph
Tanya Halliday, Nikita Little, Doreen Nelson, Natalie Little, Tahlia Riley and Marianne Headland, accepting for son Tyson Headland.
Camera IconTanya Halliday, Nikita Little, Doreen Nelson, Natalie Little, Tahlia Riley and Marianne Headland, accepting for son Tyson Headland. Credit: Picture: Holly Thompson

NAIDOC celebrations were held at the Medina Aboriginal Cultural Centre last week, with awards handed out to celebrate those who had contributed to the community.

SMYL Community College donated food for the family day festivities which were held on November 5, and SMYL’s Indigenous Girls Program, the Moorditj Yorgas, prepared and cooked the food.

There was also bouncy castles, fairy-floss and an animal farm for kids, and a traditional smoking ceremony and Welcome to Country.

Six awards were handed out, two youth awards, sportsperson of the year, non-Aboriginal person of the year, Aboriginal person of the year and elder of the year.

Medina Aboriginal Cultural Centre chairman Paul Garlett said the awards handed out were a chance to thank those who had put time and effort into helping the Aboriginal community in Kwinana.

“Leadership isn’t about being the best, it is about making everybody else better, so those people should be celebrated,” he said.

Medina Aboriginal Cultural Centre committee member and elder Doreen Nelson said the main thing about the celebrations was to promote the Aboriginal culture.

“It is all about promoting our culture, celebrating it and bringing together our community,” she said.

“I have been around since the protection era, a long time ago where my brothers and sisters were taken away. We had to live on the outskirts of the towns, when I got my tonsils out I couldn’t even be in the same room as another white person.

“Now we have a voice and the power to make decisions and NAIDOC Week is all about that, empowering us to have our say.”

City of Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams said NAIDOC was celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life.

“The community and service providers with support from the City work collaboratively to deliver events across Kwinana,” she said.

“NAIDOC Week is a time to celebrate and reflect on the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”

NAIDOC Week is officially held this week, from November 8 to 15, with this year’s theme being “Always was, always will be”.

The celebrations are usually held in July but the dates were changed this year due to COVID-19.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails