OPINION: NAIDOC week sets a goal in motion
THE history of NAIDOC in Gladstone has always been one of celebration, the fact that First Nation's Peoples are represented in many areas of society such as health, judiciary, education, business has introduced Australians to another perspective of First Nation's Peoples.
A more positive perspective which is a far cry from the one which has besieged First Nation's People across the world.
A view which we have been challenging since federation.
Is the wheel turning, yes but ever so slowly, positive outcomes in education for our students at primary,secondary and tertiary are being achieved.
Gladstone unlike many other communities across Australia has opportunities for our families to grow and prosper in a healthy and friendly environment.
Our regional leaders in co-ordination with First Nation's Peoples in the Gladstone region are pro-actively encouraging our People to be involved in the development of relationships between industry and other mainstream groups.
There is still some advancement to be made, however when we stop and look back to the sixties and seventies, through the eighties and into the nineties and especially the last 16 years we should feel confident that the future is more exciting than the past.
Our young are becoming better educated and are learning more about First Nation's culture, our language, dance, art and especially being influenced by positive role models in our community.
Those 50, 40, 30 year of age group which followed the baby boomer generation have thrived off the back of hard fought battles won and lost.
Elders long gone or in the twilight of their existence yearned to see these days.
The lessons of the past have provided the direction for today's successes, we should not rest on our laurels we should always be prepared to stand up for what's right.
There is some distance to cover before we reach that goal.
It's for that reason Songlines is an appropriate theme of NAIDOC 2016.