Mayor to open NAIDOC Week celebrations
  • Wednesday 26 June 2013

The Sunshine Coast will recognise the history, culture and achievements of the region’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with a flag raising ceremony to open NAIDOC Week celebrations.

Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson will join representatives of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities at 10am on Monday 8 July at the Nambour Council Chambers’ forecourt.

Mayor Jamieson said council committed to a community that respects the culture, history and heritage of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples when it endorsed its Reconciliation Action Plan 2011-16.

“Council values the heritage of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples and acknowledges their rich contribution to the Sunshine Coast region,” he said.

“NAIDOC Week provides an opportunity to officially honor this significant contribution - I encourage the community to join the 2013 NAIDOC Week celebrations.”

This year’s theme - We value the vision: Yirrkala Bark Petitions 1963 - celebrates the 50th anniversary of the presentation of the Yirrkala Bark Petitions to the Federal Parliament. The bark paintings signed by 131 clan leaders of the Yolngu region (Gove Peninsula) of the Northern Territory, were the first petitions to use traditional materials.

Local Kabi Kabi woman and Aboriginal educator Bianca Bond, who will perform the Master of Ceremonies role at the flag raising ceremony, shares the value and importance of the theme.

“The theme each year represents an event, a time, a person of great significance to our history and the impact or influence it has had on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“I recently focused my University assessment on the Yirrkala Bark Petitions and take pride in the regard, value and importance I have around educating myself and others about the theme of NAIDOC each year.”

A number of activities will be held across the region from 7 to 14 July, including the annual NAIDOC Festival at Cotton Tree Park, Maroochydore, from 10am to 4pm on Sunday 14 July. People should arrive early or take advantage of public transport to avoid traffic and parking congestion.

For more information about NAIDOC Week events view the ‘what’s on calendar’ on council’s website or for an overview of Queensland and Sunshine Coast Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations, visit Sunshine Coast Community Profile - Indigenous Profile. The Indigenous Profile provides key statistics relating to population, housing and households, education, work and income characteristics, based on the 2006 and 2011 Census.

NAIDOC stands for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’ which was once responsible for organising national activities during NAIDOC Week. This acronym has since become the name of the week itself.