Culture stands proud in Pilbara NAIDOC Week celebrations

Alicia PereraPilbara News
Joan Evans and Bailey Scott, 2, at the NAIDOC Week Community Concert in Roebourne.
Camera IconJoan Evans and Bailey Scott, 2, at the NAIDOC Week Community Concert in Roebourne. Credit: Pilbara News, Alicia Perera

The Pilbara community spent last week celebrating the strength and achievements of Australia’s Aborginal and Torres Strait Islander People for NAIDOC Week.

It was a busy few days of events in the region as the public took the chance to acknowledge the important contributions of indigenous people, especially of women with this year’s NAIDOC Week theme being Because of Her We Can.

Ngarluma elder Pansy Hicks and City of Karratha council representative Margaret Bertling at the NAIDOC Week Community Concert in Roebourne.
Camera IconNgarluma elder Pansy Hicks and City of Karratha council representative Margaret Bertling at the NAIDOC Week Community Concert in Roebourne. Credit: Pilbara News, Alicia Perera

On Saturday, July 7, the Yabu-rara and Coastal Mardudhunera Aboriginal Corporation hosted the annual Karratha NAIDOC Ball at the Tambrey Tavern Sunset Room.

This year, the VIP guest was Gail Mabo, daughter of native title champion Eddie Mabo, whose speech focused on her mother’s strength in supporting the family in difficult times, in line with this year’s theme.

Gail Mabo, Shanine Ryan and Tanya Langley at the Karratha NAIDOC Ball.
Camera IconGail Mabo, Shanine Ryan and Tanya Langley at the Karratha NAIDOC Ball. Credit: Pilbara News, Alicia Perera
Trelena, Yvette and Danny Brown at the Karratha NAIDOC Ball.
Camera IconTrelena, Yvette and Danny Brown at the Karratha NAIDOC Ball. Credit: Pilbara News, Alicia Perera

Eent organiser and YACMAC program manager Audrey Cosmos said it was important for NAIDOC Week to be widely acknowledged and its value understood.

“I think it’s for everyone to recognise NAIDOC Week because it’s an important event,” she said.

Sarrisha Bin Saad and Natasha Shires at the Karratha NAIDOC Ball.
Camera IconSarrisha Bin Saad and Natasha Shires at the Karratha NAIDOC Ball. Credit: Pilbara News, Alicia Perera
Selina, Susan and Cecil Mowarin at the Karratha NAIDOC Ball.
Camera IconSelina, Susan and Cecil Mowarin at the Karratha NAIDOC Ball. Credit: Pilbara News, Alicia Perera

Karratha City Shopping Centre also held a community event, with prominent local Aboriginal businesswoman Josie Alec sharing her story to an audience in Kmart before a public session of arts and crafts with indigenous female community members got started outside, MCed by Josie Samson.

Karratha City Shopping Centre event MC Josie Samson and Vicinity Centres WA regional general manager Richard Terhorst.
Camera IconKarratha City Shopping Centre event MC Josie Samson and Vicinity Centres WA regional general manager Richard Terhorst. Credit: Pilbara Site Pics
Rhonda Tittums teaches children the art of traditional damper making at the Karratha City Shopping Centre NAIDOC Week event.
Camera IconRhonda Tittums teaches children the art of traditional damper making at the Karratha City Shopping Centre NAIDOC Week event. Credit: Pilbara Site Pics

Roebourne was a hive of activity over the week with events including the annual NAIDOC Week football carnival, a Juluwarlu Aboriginal Corporation cultural celebration on the local oval on Monday and Aboriginal arts and craft activities at the local library.

At the weekend, a community concert in Roebourne drew a crowd to listen to tunes by local band JoKeria and visiting acts the Stiff Gins and Apakatjah, along with performances by children who are part of arts groups the IF Foundation and Big hART.

Also on offer were a range of community service group stalls, food vans and bouncy castles for the children.

Local band JoKeria perform at the NAIDOC Week Community Concert in Roebourne on Sunday.
Camera IconLocal band JoKeria perform at the NAIDOC Week Community Concert in Roebourne on Sunday. Credit: Pilbara News, Alicia Perera
The NAIDOC Week Community Concert in Roebourne drew a crowd.
Camera IconThe NAIDOC Week Community Concert in Roebourne drew a crowd. Credit: Pilbara News, Alicia Perera

Ngarluma elder Pansy Hicks said a lot of the Roebourne’s elders were female and it was good to see them being acknowledged by this year’s NAIDOC theme.

She said she hoped everyone enjoyed themselves at the event.

Paraburdoo and Pannawonica also held community events featuring cultural activities and award ceremonies during the week.

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