NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July. The week provides a focus and opportunity to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities but by Australians from all walks of life. The week is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and to support our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
On Thursday evening Verity, Shona and I attended one of the events of this year’s NAIDOC week at BREC in Bunbury. The primary focus was an opportunity to watch ‘The Final Quarter’ which details the painful and difficult time that Adam Goodes went through as he advocated for mutual respect and understanding between indigenous and other Australians. While it was, on the one hand, a confronting evening there was also hope. Following this, we were able to view Stan Grant’s powerful racism speech kindly provided by The Ethics Centre.
To empower positive discussion about issues raised in the films, a yarning circle followed which was facilitated by Yaka Dandjoo Chair, Karen Jetta
I was struck by the grace offered by the panel in the discussion. Sharon Cooke, Maxwell Jetta, a coach at South Bunbury Football Club and Lewis Jetta of AFL fame joined helped us explore a number of questions. AFL is one of many areas where progress is slowly being made to eradicate prejudice and racism.
In addition to this, I was delighted to meet with some of our Aboriginal Christian sisters and brothers and finally make a connection that I hope will grow.
I would encourage anyone to take the time to participate or attend NAIDOC events.