City of Perth celebrates NAIDOC Week

This July, the City of Perth will stand with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in recognising NAIDOC Week.

Under the theme, Voice. Treaty. Truth. Let’s work together for a shared future, NAIDOC Week 2019 will be held nationally from Sunday 7 July through to Sunday 14 July.

NAIDOC Week celebrations will occur across the CBD including the Supreme Court Gardens, City of Perth Library, Council House, Yagan Square and the Perth Cultural Centre.

The Trafalgar Bridge in Claisebrook Cove will be illuminated in red, yellow and black during the week, excluding 8, 12 and 13 July.

To mark the beginning of the week, the NAIDOC Perth Official Opening Ceremony will take place in the Supreme Court Gardens on Sunday 7 July from 12 to 4pm.

Featuring a traditional smoking ceremony, Whadjuk and Torres Strait Islander dancers, an Elders marquee, sand art and 22 community stalls, the event promises to be a multicultural delight.

“The NAIDOC Perth Official Opening Ceremony marks the start of an important week-long celebration of, and for, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures and communities,” Deputy Chair Commissioner Gaye McMath said.

“This is a week that highlights the strength, resilience and rich culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, which I hope will grow our community’s appreciation of their contribution to our city 365 days a year.

“Cultural ceremonies such as this encourage visitors to learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, further promoting understanding and strengthening the social fabric of the community.”

From 8 July through to September, an Aboriginal art exhibition Our Land: Our Place will take place on the ground floor of Council House. The exhibition will showcase pieces from Aboriginal art centres throughout WA alongside Aboriginal artworks from the City of Perth Cultural Collections.

The City of Perth has also been working on a fresh approach to the collection of oral histories and has recently commissioned a podcast, titled Untold Stories, that features stories on the Coolbaroo Club.

Founded in 1946 by returned Yamatji soldiers Jack and Bill Poland, the club was best known for the dances they held on Friday and Saturday nights outside of the ‘Prohibition Area’ of the city.

The podcasts will be available online and will be offered for broadcast on local radio stations.

“Supporting NAIDOC Week aligns with the City of Perth’s Reconciliation Action Plan, which focuses on building awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures,” Deputy Chair Commissioner Gaye McMath said.

More than two years after starting its reconciliation journey, the City of Perth is beginning to progress towards an Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan.

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