A previous Naidoc Week celebration of Indigenous culture performing outside Gladstone council chambers.
A previous Naidoc Week celebration of Indigenous culture performing outside Gladstone council chambers.

Gladstone’s Naidoc week postponed

NAIDOC Week celebrations in the Gladstone region have been postponed due to COVID-19.

The traditional celebrations of Indigenous culture were to be held around the region this week until July 14, but the National Rural Health Alliance has today announced they will be held in November.

Gladstone Regional Council had announced a whole calendar of events to take place from July 8 to 14 around the region.

These included, a Naidoc march today from Anzac Park to Gladstone Yacht Club, A BSL/QAL/Rio Tinto ladies breakfast tomorrow at Yaralla Sports Club and a Naidoc display at Luminous to be held tomorrow and Sunday.

Naidoc Week celebrations are now scheduled from November 8 to 15.

A council spokesman explained the event had to be postponed due to COVID concerns.

“Due to the impacts and uncertainty from COVID-19, the National NAIDOC Committee has moved the event to later in the year,” the spokesman said.

“The postponement was aimed at protecting our elders and those in our communities with chronic health issues from the disastrous impacts of COVID-19.”

Council said it would release a calendar of events closer to the scheduled celebrations, from November 8 to 15.

National Rural Health Alliance Chief Executive Officer Dr Gabrielle O’Kane said the alliance supported the postponement.

“We support the decision to postpone NAIDOC Week because it’s the right thing to do to try and stop the spread of COVID-19,” she said.

“This week though gives us the chance to reflect on not just the history and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, but also on the significant work still to be done to reduce racism, improve health outcomes and create a health care system that is culturally safe for all.

“The recent new Closing the Gap targets highlight just how difficult this job is, but we mustn’t give up.

“This includes improving access to health care in remote areas, where many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people live, but also a real commitment to addressing the social determinants of health.”

For more information on Naidoc Week Celebrations when they are announced by council, visit www.gladstone.qld.gov.au/events.