NAIDOC Week in the Whitsundays
It’s NAIDOC Week, which shines a spotlight on the incredible history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Celebrated by all Australians, it’s a wonderful opportunity to dig deeper into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, observing ways in which we can further support their communities.
This year’s theme is Always Was, Always Will Be, which highlights the endurance of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and recognises that First Nations peoples have occupied and cared for this land for over 65,000 years. The celebrations this year call for all Australians, regardless of background, to embrace Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture, and contribute to empowering their fight for self-determination, land rights and social rights.
Here in the Whitsundays, the NAIDOC celebration is alive, in a tribute to the Traditional Custodians of the region, the Ngaro peoples. Having lived in the region for over 8,000 years, the Ngaro people inhabited the islands and parts of the mainland. They relied heavily on the ocean and adapted to the ever-changing landscape of the region. Due to glacier shifts and ocean levels changing, a lot of Ngaro territory is now underwater.
The Whitsunday Plaza, along with Vicinity Centres, is engaging in the Innovative Reconciliation Action Plan, which aims to increase community commitment to cultural awareness, deepen relationships and connect First Nations people with employment and business opportunities.
The Whitsunday Neighborhood Centre has also been providing educational content on their social media platforms, including teaching guides and flag information. PCYC Whitsundays has also held NAIDOC week celebrations in their clubs, aiming to celebrate the culture, history and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.