The dance display at the basketball game for Naidoc Week.
The dance display at the basketball game for Naidoc Week. Brenda Strong

NAIDOC Week a winner

MANY indigenous and non-indigenous people participated in Gladstone NAIDOC week activities last week, including the celebratory march on Friday.

A Gladstone NAIDOC Week committee spokeswoman said there were a lot more non-indigenous people who marched this year, which was pleasing.

The march is about being proud of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent and showing the richness of Australia’s indigenous cultures.

The majority of Gladstone Regional councillors marched and Cr Clyde Cameron and his band provided musical entertainment at the Marina picnic on Friday.

The picnic was the highlight of the week’s celebrations, with hundreds of people of all ages flocking to the Gladstone Marina to enjoy indigenous culture, music and food.

NAIDOC stands for the National Aboriginal and Islander 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.

Today, NAIDOC is a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and an opportunity to recognise the contributions of indigenous Australians in various fields.

Other activities throughout the week included a flag-raising ceremony in front of the Gladstone Regional Council chambers, the Rio Tinto Alcan trivia night, AP LNG sports day, Gladstone Ports Corporation kids cubbyhouse, a three-on-three basketball competition, Rio Tinto picnic at Gladstone Marina and the Gladstone Art Gallery Unsung Heroes presentation.

The 2010 National NAIDOC theme is Unsung Heroes - Closing the Gap by Leading Their Way. Many unsung Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have made huge contributions to Australian society.

‘Unsung heroes’ recognises the part played by the quiet achievers in the Indigenous community, both now and in the past. These heroes lead by taking their own paths, and in doing so, helping other indigenous people to set their own direction for the future.

The theme asserts indigenous ownership of ‘closing the gap’. The gaps that need to be closed include those between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians and gaps in knowledge and understanding.

The golf day at Gladstone was postponed due to wet weather, but will be rescheduled later this month.