The City of Perth is celebrating and embracing the oldest living culture on Earth through a myriad of sponsored and City-led events as part of NAIDOC Week from 4 to 11 July.
City of Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas acknowledged the NAIDOC Week theme for 2021 was Heal Country, a reminder to protect our lands, our waters and sacred sites from destruction.
“We’re extremely excited to bring to life a suite of immersive experiences, music, dance, culture and art throughout July, celebrating and embracing the oldest living culture on Earth,” he said.
From 9 to 10 July, the City of Perth will be sponsoring the Maali Festival – a family- friendly festival celebrating Aboriginal art, culture, heritage and voice.
Organised by Black Swan State Theatre Company of WA curators Ian Michael and Chloe Ogilvie, the two-day event will feature a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony, travelling from the State Theatre Centre to the Perth Cultural Centre, cleansing and reclaiming space and exploding into a big dance ceremony – Nyumbi.
One of the highlights of the festival is a High Tea with the City of Perth Elders (the Bridyas) on 10 July, where they will share their personal stories and vast cultural knowledge.
To continue recognising the importance of the Bridyas, the City of Perth Elders portraits will be displayed in the State Theatre Centre from 4 to 18 July.
City of Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas said the portraits were important in recognising the significant role the Elders played in shaping the City of Perth.
“The Elders are the Bridyas (bosses) and as such are recognised, valued and honoured by the City as heads of the Aboriginal community,” Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas said.
The Elders Advisory Group was established in 2018 and guided the City of Perth in launching its first Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan with the aim of moving forward together, to form positive and trusting relationships.
The City of Perth will be recognising NAIDOC Week by illuminating Council House in Aboriginal colours from 4 to 11 July. Trafalgar Bridge will also be lit up in red.