NAIDOC Week celebrated across the Riverina and Central West

4 July 2017

THE Riverina and Central West is a large area that covers twelve local government areas, encompasses three State electorates and is intersected by the Newell highway and two major rivers. While each community is different, we are all united in the fact the land which we inhabit is Wiradjuri country, according to Riverina MP and Minister for Small Business, Michael McCormack.

“The importance of this connection should be celebrated and NAIDOC week provides us with that opportunity,” Mr McCormack said.

“I was in Cowra on Monday of this week and celebrated with the local community there the significance of NAIDOC week, a designated week for all Australians to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“I was pleased to join the Mayor of Cowra Shire, Cr Bill West, Aboriginal elders and local community members for the raising of the Australian and Aboriginal flags and celebrate the longest, continuous culture on earth and the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people, especially those from the Wiradjuri nation to the Riverina and Central West.

“My visit to Cowra also allowed me to meet with the Wahlan Dreaming Warriors and see first-hand the great work that group does to engage young people through sport, to celebrate diversity, culture and community.

To mark the significance of NAIDOC week, the Federal Government has provided $1.4 million in grants to support community events across the nation that celebrate our First Australians.

“I was pleased that communities in Coolamon, Forbes and Wagga Wagga had received amounts from $500 up to $2,000 from the Federal Government to support NAIDOC celebrations. 

“NAIDOC events are a great opportunity to gain a better understanding and appreciation of the richness and diversity of Indigenous art, language and culture.

“I encourage everyone to get involved in the numerous events being held across the region this week to celebrate our local Indigenous community.”

NAIDOC Week runs from 2-9 July. Information about NAIDOC Week community events can be found at: www.naidoc.org.au or by contacting Mr McCormack’s electorate office.

Dom Hopkinson