Community members gathered in Buss Park this morning for the official flag-raising ceremony and celebrations of NAIDOC Week 2020.
The event, which attracted large crowds, focused around this year's theme of Always was, Always will be.
Gidarjil's managing director Dr Kerry Blackman addressed the crowd at the event to speak about the importance of NAIDOC Week.
“We’re all here to cherish our land, the spirits are watching all of us, our elders are our respected keepers of our lands and our culture,” Dr Blackman said.
“From us we want you all to come and feel welcomed in our shared country as we are standing on sacred ground.
“We as a first nations people understand this with our culture and our spiritual connection to our county, we say our country was always aboriginal land – always was and always will be.”
Bundaberg Regional Council Mayor Jack Dempsey also took to the stand for the NAIDOC Week flag raising ceremony to discuss how the week was helping to shape the future.
“It certainly is very pleasing and heart-warming to see so many people come together as a community here for NAIDOC week, but NAIDOC week shouldn’t just be a week it should be a part of our inner self and our whole community and how we go about living our lives,” Mayor Dempsey told the crowd.
“Today as we come together as a community we have to be mindful that we are standing on the lands of the longest living culture in the world and that’s something to be proud of.”
“I also want to acknowledge both past, present and future and those three words are so resounding because we don’t have a future unless we look after our past and present.
“The past reflects the decision that we make now and what we will do in the future.”
NAIDOC Week 2020
NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee.
Its origins can be traced to the emergence of Aboriginal groups in the 1920s which sought to increase awareness in the wider community of the status and treatment of Indigenous Australians.
It is a time to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements and is an opportunity to recognise the contributions Indigenous Australians make.
NAIDOC Week activities will continue, with a range of events scheduled across the region.
For more information visit: NAIDOC week event guide.
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