Indigenous people join in celebration

INVOLVING all of the community in positive celebrations of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island (ATSI) culture is the main priority for dedicated organisers of this year's NAIDOC Week celebrations in Gladstone.

The creation of the National Aboriginal and Islandes Day of Observance Committee (NAIDOC) has its origins in the fight for Aboriginal rights that began to gather pace in the 1920s and 1930s.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of NAIDOC celebrations with the theme "50 years: Looking Forward, Looking Blak" being celebrated across the nation.

A week of colourful events will showcase indigenous culture and bringing people together to appreciate and recognise indigenous issues in the Australian community.

Spokespersons for the group Melena Mckeown, Matthew Cooke and Aaron Nagas are contagiously enthusiastic about the 2007 events being staged in Gladstone from Saturday, July 7 to Friday, July 13.

The gala evening at the PCYC on July 7 is shaping up to be an event to remember with Torres Strait dancers, a fashion parade and a three-course meal for $30 planned for those attending.

'The kids can watch movies at the movie night and the adults can let their hair down at the gala,' Matthew said.