Big crowd celebrates NAIDOC in Wauchope

Hundreds of people enjoyed the NAIDOC Wauchope Community Fun Day in the grounds of Wauchope Indoor Stadium. 

For the second year the Birpai Gamba (call out) recognised the start of NAIDOC Week which this year is underpinned by the theme Because of Her, We Can.

NAIDOC Week will be a celebration of the contributions of indigenous women to their culture and our community and how they have shaped a positive future for new generations.

Because of Her, We Can recognises all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who play active and significant roles at local, state and national levels.

The fun day at Wauchope Stadium was part of a full program of events to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 

The fun day included traditional dances by the Wauchope Primary School Boys Aboriginal Dance Group, art workshops and the opportunity for people to listen to local elders tell yarns and stories about the past.

There was also bushtucker, jumping castles, mechanical bull rides, traditional games and more.

Council’s group manager Lucilla Marshall said NAIDOC Week always carries great meaning for the Hastings community. 

“Our community is built on the rich history and culture of our region’s first people, the Birpai people,” Ms Marshall said. 

“NAIDOC Week offers the chance for all of us, no matter where we come from, to celebrate and immerse ourselves in our local history, culture and to celebrate the broader achievements of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people nationwide.” 

The annual Aboriginal Men’s NAIDOC Golf Challenge will conclude the week at Wingham Golf Course on Friday, July 13.

Aboriginal educator Linda Olive said the theme for NAIDOC Week this year was a significant achievement.

“NAIDOC Week is the recognition and celebration of the traditional owners of the land and is focused around the celebration of language, culture and community,” Ms Olive said.

“The theme for NAIDOC Week this year is especially important because it recognises the significant contribution of women in the Aboriginal community.

“This year is all about identifying and celebrating the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander trailblazer women who were the first and most fierce advocates for a families and our children.”

Ms Olive said that for generations women have played some of the most instrumental roles in society.