Pilbara communities join in unity for NAIDOC Week

Shannon BeattiePilbara News
Nana Pansy Hicks and Cathy Brooker at the NAIDOC Week Community Concert in Roebourne on Sunday.
Camera IconNana Pansy Hicks and Cathy Brooker at the NAIDOC Week Community Concert in Roebourne on Sunday. Credit: Shannon Beattie

All around the Pilbara, communities have come together to celebrate NAIDOC Week in a wonderful tribute to the culture, history and achievements of Australia’s indigenous people.

NAIDOC Week officially ran from July 7 to 14 with this year’s theme centred around creating a shared future through the key elements of Voice, Treaty, Truth.

City of Karratha

JoKeira performing at the Roebourne NAIDOC Week concert.
Camera IconJoKeira performing at the Roebourne NAIDOC Week concert. Credit: Pilbara News

In the City of Karratha, many free NAIDOC events were held including an Old People’s Birthday at Roebourne Old Reserve on July 1 and a Roebourne Girls Academy basketball tournament at Roebourne District High School on July 2.

During the week, there was also a NAIDOC Church Service at Roebourne Old Reserve on July 7 and celebrations at the Karratha City Shopping Centre daily from July 9-13.

The feature event was a community concert in Roebourne on Sunday attended by about 1500 people.

The concert featured live performances by Kimberley comedian and drag queen Mary G, country rock band Fitzroy Xpress and Roebourne’s country music duo JoKeira, in addition to market stalls, children’s activities and a local fashion show.

City director community services Arron Minchin said this year’s NAIDOC Week theme was an important one to recognise.

“It highlights the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices, which date back more than 65,000 years, and coincides with the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages,” he said.

Shire of Ashburton

Cr Linton Rumble & elder Roma Butcher.
Camera IconCr Linton Rumble & elder Roma Butcher. Credit: Nathan Niaga

NAIDOC Week created a hive of activity in the Shire of Ashburton as the towns of Tom Price, Pannawonica, Paraburdoo and Onslow joined together to work on developing positive and lasting change.

The Shire hosted many activities, working in partnership with Rio Tinto and local traditional owners, to provide engaging opportunities to learn and experience indigenous culture and history.

Throughout the celebrations, Welcome to Country smoking ceremonies, music and dance, traditional food showcase and tasting plates, craft, interactive workshops and displays attracted community participation from all over the area.

Events were held in Tom Price on June 29 Paraburdoo on July 4 and Pannawonica on July 5.

The NAIDOC events in the Shire of Ashburton were made possible through support from Rio Tinto, the Yinhawangka Aboriginal Corporation, the Gumala Aboriginal Corporation and the Robe River Kur- uma Aboriginal Corporation.

Shire of Exmouth

Artwork by the students of Exmouth District High School, representing this year’s NAIDOC theme, was displayed at the Ningaloo Centre.
Camera IconArtwork by the students of Exmouth District High School, representing this year’s NAIDOC theme, was displayed at the Ningaloo Centre. Credit: Shire of Exmouth

In Exmouth the Pujiman Exhibtion, a collaboration between Spinifex Hill and Martumili artists, was displayed at the Ningaloo Centre in the lead up to NAIDOC Week.

Art by the students of Exmouth District High School, representing this year’s NAIDOC theme, was on display.

Shire president Matthew Niikkula said the students made the artworks for display at their NAIDOC Week assembly.

“They represent various aspects of the students’ learning about indigenous culture and are accompanied by interpretive information sharing that knowledge,” he said. “Council is pleased to be able to share their work and knowledge with the community and visitors to the Ningaloo Centre to celebrate NAIDOC Week.”

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