NAIDOC celebrations lined up

Louise Allingham and Alicia PereraPilbara News
Dwayne Sampi and Marshall Smith show Tambrey Primary kindergarten students a range of cultural artefacts at a school NAIDOC Week activity day last week.
Camera IconDwayne Sampi and Marshall Smith show Tambrey Primary kindergarten students a range of cultural artefacts at a school NAIDOC Week activity day last week. Credit: Pilbara News, Alicia Perera

Hundreds of people across the Pilbara are expected to join in a string of events and activities celebrating Aboriginal culture, heritage and achievements for NAIDOC Week.

Although NAIDOC Week officially starts on July 1, Tom Price kicked off celebrations early at a free community event on Saturday, June 24.

Punters enjoyed a special performance by one of the top didgeridoo players in the country, Phil Walley-Stack, as well as traditional food, dancing, storytelling, art activities and live entertainment.

Several schools, including Tambrey and Millars Well Primary schools held NAIDOC activities last week for students and staff to celebrate before their holiday break.

Tambrey Primary School invited more than 20 parents and community leaders with indigenous heritage to share their stories of strength and resilience with students as part of a program that emphasised this year’s theme of language groups.

Among the speakers was Pilbara Aboriginal Church pastor and Mingullatharndo community co-founder Marshall Smith, who presented cultural artefacts to schoolchildren with nephew Dwayne Sampi.

He said it was good to see so much cultural sharing happening at the school for NAIDOC Week, giving the next generation a strong appreciation of local Aboriginal heritage and bringing the whole community closer together.

“Today we’ve been displaying our cultural artefacts and it’s been awesome because every class that comes through, they’re so interested and so keen,” he said.

“The children love playing with our artefacts, but they also love being involved in answering the questions.

Small indigenous towns and communities throughout the Pilbara gathered at the Roebourne District High School Oval last Friday for the start of Ngarluma and Yindjibarndi Foundation’s Ieramugadu NAIDOC Week invitational football carnival.

Yaburara and Coastal Mardudhunera Aboriginal Corporation kicked off NAIDOC Week in style with a ball at the Tambrey last Saturday.

Children can get hands-on with dot painting and boomerang making at the Roebourne Library with free arts and crafts sessions. The sessions are from 10.30am-11.30am on July 4 for ages 5-7 and July 6 for ages 8-13.

The City of Karratha will see out NAIDOC Week with a free community concert on July 9 from noon at the Roebourne High School oval.

There will be performances from some of Australia’s best indigenous musicians including Shellie Morris, Gawurra and the Lucky Luke Hip Hop Band as well as some local talent.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the concert would see community members of all backgrounds to come together and celebrate the true meaning of NAIDOC.

“These special events are an incredible way to experience and appreciate Indigenous culture,” he said.

“The 2017 community concert is set to be the biggest yet, featuring some of the best indigenous musicians from Australia alongside a number of our extremely talented local artists,” he said.

The Shire of Ashburton also has an array of NAIDOC events happening throughout the week in Paraburdoo and Pannawonica.

Paraburdoo will kicked off NAIDOC week at Ashburton Hall last Sunday, July 2 from 10am-2pm.

There was be a welcome to country, flag raising ceremony, speeches from Yinhawangka directors and shire councillors, a presentation on Yinhawangka language as well as kids arts and craft and a sausage sizzle.

All community members over the age of 55 are invited to attend the elders’ luncheon at the Paraburdoo Inn on July 5 from noon-2pm.

Contact 9189 5139, 0400 564 207 or to RSVP by this Friday. Put your baking skills to the test on July 8 at Ashburton Hall for the Damper Competition.

The free community event will also include a native tasting table, fire pits, billy tea, kangaroo tail stew, craft activities for kids and live entertainment.

Pannawonica residents are invited to come along to NAIDOC celebrations today at The Rocks from 4pm.

The celebration will include the presentation of the NAIDOC awards, live music, dancing, free family activities, a traditional arts and craft display, a barbecue dinner and traditional Indigenous food.

Visit for details.

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