Newcastle NAIDOC Day

Newcastle NAIDOC Day

Gregson Park
Monday, 03 July 2017

Newcastle NAIDOC Day celebrations will be held at Smith Park, Hamilton this year on Monday 3 July. There is a great line-up of entertainment and free giveaways, kids amusement ride and a free community BBQ. Everyone is welcome to attend and join in the celebration of the diversity of the Australian culture.
The 2017 theme of NAIDOC week is- Our Languages Matter. It aims to emphasise and celebrate the unique and essential role that Indigenous languages play in cultural identity, linking people to their land and water and in the transmission of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, spirituality and rites, through story and song.

Some 250 distinct Indigenous language groups covered the continent at first European contact in the late eighteenth century. Today only around 120 of those languages are still spoken and many are at risk of being lost as Elders pass on.

National NAIDOC Committee Co-Chair Anne Martin said languages are the breath of life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the theme will raise awareness of the status and importance of Indigenous languages across the country. “Aboriginal and Torres Strait languages are not just a means of communication, they express knowledge about everything: law, geography, history, family and human relationships, philosophy, religion, anatomy, childcare, health, caring for country, astronomy, biology and food. Each language is associated with an area of land and has a deep spiritual significance and it is through their own languages, that Indigenous nations maintain their connection with their ancestors, land and law,” Ms Martin said.

Nationally, many place names for our suburbs, rivers, mountains and parks are Indigenous language words. Noticing and paying attention to these words will generate greater appreciation and respect for the significance of language among all Australians.

The Newcastle NAIDOC Day will start with a march from Gregson Park, Hamilton at 9am, head down Beaumont Street and along to Smith Park. Helping us celebrate the day will be performers such as Terra Firma, Gambirra, Jacob Ridgeway, Kat Waria and the One Voice Choir.
Terra Firma is a 4 piece band based in Regional NSW and features a unique sound ranging from Country, Blues & Reggae. They have performed around Australia and kicked off the Yabun Festival in Victoria Park this year as well as being asked to back Warren H Williams & Dani Young plus Jessica Mauboy.
Gambirra is a Yolngu Songstress, Performer, Painter & Cultural educator hailing from Northeast Arnhem Land. Related to many tribal family members of significant recognition such as Gurrumul Yunipingu, Yothu Yindi, East Journey, the Chooky Dancers etc. Her message is powerful and simple; “our spirituality is inseparably linked to the land, we all vibrate with the planet. We are one blood”. An alluring and compelling performer gracing many stages throughout the country. Gambirra’s soulful music reflects Social Morality, celebrating Cultural Diversity. Her unique performances have taken her around Australia, performing at a variety of leading venues and festivals such as Woodford Folk Festival, Spirit Festival, Riverside Theatre, The Basement and Lizottes.
One Voice Choir is an exciting new community Choir developed in conjunction with Creativity Australia as One Voice Windale and facilitate by The Centre For Hope that works within that community and extends out into Newcastle, The Hunter and beyond.
They are only the 8th choir of their kind in Australia whose aim is simple “Together we can change the world – One Voice at a time”.
The Centre For Hope works with disadvantaged kids and their families. The vision is to empower young disadvantaged Australians to respect themselves and to create an inspired life – working with both Indigenous and Non-Indigenous people to assist them to find their place and connect with the wider community.

Paul Douglas from the Newcastle NAIDOC Day Planning Committee said ‘We are honoured to have Sharon Claydon MP, Tim Crakanthorp MP and Cr Nuatali Nelmes, Lord Mayor help us officially open this very important day for the community.’ We’d also like to than NSW ATN for organising free buses from Swansea, Wyee and Salamander Bay to collect people along the way to Hamilton. For bookings contact Adam on 0436 194 560. Limited seats available.

For more information contact 0409 902 043 or visit the Facebook page – Newcastle NAIDOC Day.

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