The Young NAIDOC Week Opening Ceremony set to be held next Wednesday, July 7 is now postponed due to current COVID-19 restrictions.
The ceremony was to include a Welcome to Country, Smoking Ceremony and Wiradjuri dance performance at the Marie McCormick Centre from 10am to 2pm. The organising committee met on Tuesday, deciding to reschedule the event for now.
Committee member Norma Roberts said a date is yet to be confirmed, with another committee meeting set for Tuesday, August 3.
“It’s a day of celebration. We forget all the politics and open the ceremony up to the community to celebrate our culture,” Ms Roberts said.
“It’s postponed due to COVID restrictions, and people having to wear face masks at the moment. We want people to be free from the restriction rules on the day.”
Norma is born and bred in Young as a proud Wiradjuri person.
The Aboriginal Land Council, NSW Health, TAFE, Hilltops Community Hub and Hilltops Council are represented on the committee. Norma said it’s the best decision for the community.
Before school holidays, St Mary’s Primary School in Young celebrated NAIDOC Week with the unveiling of a new Indigenous Garden. Fourteen native animals are represented in metal carvings complemented by flora unique to the Australian landscape.
It was officially opened by local Wiradjuri man Stewart James, with a traditional Aboriginal Smoking Ceremony.
Students also discussed this year’s NAIDOC Week theme, Heal Country!, in their classes. They talked about protection of sacred sites and cultural heritage to ensure they remain.
The Hilltops is home to Wiradjuri and Ngunnawal traditional tribes, who are represented by the Young Local Aboriginal Land Council and the Onerwal Local Aboriginal Land Council.
This year’s NAIDOC week is to be recognised nationally from July 4 to 11.
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