Pat Conaghan MP

Local schools celebrate NAIDOC Week 8-15 November

It’s NAIDOC Week until 15 November, a celebration of the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The NAIDOC 2020 theme is Always Was, Always Will Be, which recognises that Indigenous Australians have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years.

Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan said there were some great community events happening this week and several schools were doing innovative things to celebrate NAIDOC Week in COVID-safe ways.

“This year’s NAIDOC Week theme highlights Australia’s ancient history and celebrates the traditions and cultures of our important First Nations peoples,” he said.

“This week is a chance to gather in small groups or virtually and learn more about the Dunghutti, Thunghutti, Gumbaynggirr and Birpai people and elders.

“Three local schools are successful grant recipients in our Government’s $1.4 million national support program for NAIDOC Week. Now children at some of these schools can proudly wear their NAIDOC Week t-shirts as part of their school uniform all year round.”

Successful Cowper grant recipients include:

  • Bowraville Central School: $1,000 towards the purchase of NAIDOC t-shirts bearing the artwork of Indigenous artist Rachel Sarra
  • Frank Partridge VC Public School, Nambucca Heads: $1,000 towards the purchase of NAIDOC t-shirts for all students
  • Nambucca Heads Public School: $2,000 towards week-long NAIDOC school events including bush tucker workshops.

Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt said it was important to remember the wealth of knowledge the First Peoples had as Australia’s first explorers, first navigators, first engineers, first scientists and first artists.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s culture is as important today as it was 65,000 years ago – Indigenous Australians are spiritually and culturally connected to this country – and we continue to regain and strengthen our culture through language and truth-telling, an exploration of our shared history,” he said.

“In 2020, Indigenous Australians continue to contribute to our nation’s rich fabric – people travel from around the world to experience our culture – and we are growing our presence abroad.

“I wish everyone well in their NAIDOC Week celebrations, and hope that you use this opportunity to unite and continue to forge a stronger path towards reconciliation.”

ENDS

Media Contacts:

Mr Wyatt – Luke Nayna 0438 231 687

Mr Conaghan – Liz Spry 0418 928 744