Seymour ready for NAIDOC Week celebrations

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Great turnout: Record numbers attended last year’s NAIDOC week celebrations in Seymour. Photo by Kathy Mexted

Indigenous and non-Indigenous residents alike have been invited to attend Seymour’s NAIDOC week celebrations on Thursday, July 7.

The National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee celebrations will be hosted by the Seymour Local Aboriginal Network in the Green Shed at Kings Park Seymour from 11am to 2pm.

Organiser Brenda Newman said the event would “showcase the Aboriginal community in Seymour” and feature 25 stalls, including Gnarly Neighbours skateboarding youth group, First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria, the Victorian Community Controlled Health Organisation, Wanyara Aboriginal Art and emergency services.

“Information, help — it’s a celebration of Aboriginal culture, of course,” Ms Newman said.

“There’s a lot of information for everyone, as well as a fun day.”

Seymour is Taungurung country and Auntie Jo Honeysett will perform a Welcome to Country on the day, and a barbecue by the Nagambie Men’s Shed will keep people sustained.

Last year’s Seymour NAIDOC celebration attracted more than 200 people and was awarded Mitchell Shire’s community event of the year.

Mayor Bill Chisholm has encouraged people to attend the celebration and “recognise the history, culture and achievements of Traditional Owners in Mitchell Shire”.

He said the event was an opportunity for non-Indigenous Australians to connect with their Indigenous friends in the community.

“There will be a lot of fun, family activities to enjoy and a chance to learn about the First Nations cultures and histories and participate in celebrations of the oldest, continuous living cultures on Earth,” he said.

“We are committed to working collaboratively to build a fair and equitable community for all and we encourage people in Mitchell to come along and show their support.”

Mitchell Shire Council itself will have a stall on the day, which will give people a chance to win a prize.

Victoria is the centre of national NAIDOC Week celebrations, hosting the NAIDOC awards, NAIDOC state reception and Victorian NAIDOC ball.

This year’s NAIDOC Week theme is ‘Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!’, which encourages everyone to champion institutional, structural and collaborative change, while celebrating those who have already driven and led change in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities over generations.