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NAIDOC events highlight Indigenous service

10 July 2014


THE West Arnhem Regional Council is encouraging its residents to embrace the 2014 National NAIDOC theme – Serving Country: Centenary & Beyond.

West Arnhem Regional Council Deputy Mayor James Marrawal said this year’s NAIDOC Week theme honoured all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women who had fought in defence of country.

“While the Council acknowledges the ongoing contributions of our Indigenous people all year round, NAIDOC Week is a week for special celebration,” Deputy Mayor Marrawal said.

“The West Arnhem Regional Council is inviting everyone to take part in NAIDOC events in their communities, and to recognise the role Indigenous Australians have played in times of conflict. "This week is a time to pause and reflect upon their pride and their sacrifice.”

NAIDOC Week events in the West Arnhem region include a celebration of Bininj/Mungguy culture at Bowali Visitor Centre on Wednesday 9 July. The Bowali event will feature a special lunchtime ceremony honouring the role of Gagadju indigenous elder ‘Big’ Bill Neidjie in the Second World War.

There is also a community barbecue in the park with stakeholders at Gunbalanya on Thursday 10 July, a disco with DJ Jimblah at the Jabiru Community Hall on Friday 11 July, a community barbecue at the Jabiru Library on Thursday 17 July, and more.

All events are free and open to the public.

National NAIDOC Committee cochairs Anne Martin and Benjamin Mitchell said the theme is about proudly highlighting and recognising the role they have played in shaping the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identity.

“This is about our warriors in the Frontier Wars to our warriors who have served with honour and pride in Australia’s military conflicts and engagements across the globe,” Ms Martin said.

“We wanted to celebrate and honour their priceless contribution to our nation,” Mr Mitchell said.