Mount Gambier Mayor Lynette Martin in collaboration with Burrandies Aboriginal Corporation, local elders and community leaders raised spirits and flags in the Cave Gardens/Thugi yesterday to launch NAIDOC week.
NAIDOC week spans from July 3-10 and this year’s theme is ‘Get up! Stand up! Show up!’ – encouraging everyone to support change while celebrating the changemakers in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities over generations.
The celebrations included a Welcome to Country, smoking ceremony, speeches and the star attraction in the flag raising.
Mayor Martin acknowledged the presence of the many elders who joined the event and paid her respects to them, extending respect to elders past and emerging within the community.
“It was a pleasure to come together despite COVID continuing to impact on the capacity to enjoy large community celebrations for NAIDOC week,” she said.
“I am glad we were able to still gather in small numbers for this important ceremony to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements.
“It was an opportunity to recognise the contribution that First Nations people make to our country and our society.
“When we raise the flags together each NAIDOC week, I feel it is symbolic of the unity that is presented through our work together and each year we have something new to celebrate and acknowledge.
“I personally thank everyone who attended for your leadership and contribution, for your work together for our community and I look forward to achieving much more as we work together in the future.”