Author: Rhonda Penney
I am a proud Palawa woman living on Djaara country.
I want to share with you that NAIDOC Week 2023 is being held this year from Sunday 2 July to Sunday 9 July with the theme For Our Elders.
Many events will be held across communities, including flag raising ceremonies, family days and art shows.
In Bendigo, I will represent CVGT Employment with Bobby Wise, our Indigenous Development Officer, at a flag raising ceremony at Bendigo & District Aboriginal Co-operative on June 30, and will join Mark Little, General Manager Strategy and Communications, at the Bendigo NAIDOC flag raising ceremony on Monday 3 July.
Bobby and I will also be attending a family day on Wednesday 5 July at which I will ask attendees to add their handprints to an artwork that I am painting. The artwork will hang in reception at our Bendigo site.
NAIDOC Week is important to me as it is a time to acknowledge and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait achievements, and to catch up with local community at various events.
For Our Elders pays respect to Elders and I would like to refer you to naidoc.org.au about why it was chosen:
“Across every generation, our Elders have played, and continue to play, an important role and hold a prominent place in our communities and families.
They are cultural knowledge holders, trailblazers, nurturers, advocates, teachers, survivors, leaders, hard workers and our loved ones.
Our loved ones who pick us up in our low moments and celebrate us in our high ones. Who cook us a feed to comfort us and pull us into line, when we need them too.
They guide our generations and pave the way for us to take the paths we can take today. Guidance, not only through generations of advocacy and activism, but in everyday life and how to place ourselves in the world.
We draw strength from their knowledge and experience, in everything from land management, cultural knowledge to justice and human rights. Across multiple sectors like health, education, the arts, politics and everything in between, they have set the many courses we follow.
The struggles of our Elders help to move us forward today. The equality we continue to fight for is found in their fight. Their tenacity and strength has carried the survival of our people.
It is their influence and through their learnings that we must ensure that when it comes to future decision making for our people, there is nothing about us – without us.”
Connecting with your local First Nations communities is an important step in understanding and recognising the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Naidoc.org.au lists some local events, as do some council websites.
I encourage you to discover what is happening in your community and participate in an activity or attend an event.
CVGT Employment Reconciliation Action Plan
We are proud to respect this land, value First Nations heritage and advocate justice and equity for all.