This year NAIDOC Week is being held from 4-11 July. NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia every July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Blue Mountains Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill said: “NAIDOC Week is a great opportunity to support our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and recognise the contributions they make to the Blue Mountains.
Unfortunately, with the recent COVID-19 restrictions, celebrations look a little different again this year. But Blue Mountains City Council is still marking the event.
“This year’s theme is ‘Heal Country–Heal our Nation’. This is particularly fitting for the Blue Mountains community given the ‘Statement of Recognition and Commitment’ was endorsed by Council in May this year.
“Council encourages every resident to read, reflect and join in helping to ‘Heal Country’,” Mayor Greenhill said.
The Statement of Recognition and Commitment aims to honour the past and respond to the future in an honest and meaningful way by recognising the past and ongoing injustices from dispossession, displacement, disadvantage and discrimination experienced by the Dharug and Gundungurra people. It provides a commitment by Council to acknowledge and actively redress in all of its operations and practices, the intergenerational disadvantage and loss caused to First Nations people. The Aboriginal Advisory Council (AAC) began work on the Statement in 2017 and there was extensive discussions and consultation to ensure local First Nation perspectives, local conversations and aspirations were reflected and captured. It was a historic moment and the intention is that the Statement be reaffirmed by each subsequent Council within 12 months of it commencing its term in office.
Unfortunately, the traditional NAIDOC morning tea and flag raising ceremony scheduled for Monday 5 July at the Cultural Centre had to be cancelled because of the COVID-19 restrictions. However, NAIDOC Week was celebrated by a restricted COVID safe flag raising ceremony undertaken by Council’s Indigenous Staff representatives. Council is also planning NAIDOC in The Gully – a special community event – in Spring 2021. For more information go to: bmcc.nsw.gov.au/naidoc-week.
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