Benalla Rural City Council is supporting the Benalla Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee to host NAIDOC Week 2021 celebrations at the Benalla Town Hall on Monday 5 July, 11am-2pm.
Activities will include a Welcome to Country and a raising of the flags in front of the Council Chambers and Civic Centre. A smoking ceremony will welcome people into the Benalla Town Hall, where lunch will be provided. Activities will include an art exhibition, art and craft stalls, story time and yarning sessions, displays by local organisations and a presentation by Winton Wetlands’ Dr Lisa Farnsworth in line with the the NAIDOC Week theme of Heal Country.
Mayor Cr Danny Claridge encouraged the community to participate in the celebration.
‘This is an opportunity for all members of our community to come together to celebrate our rich cultural history and the contributions made by First Nations people,’ said Cr Claridge.
‘NAIDOC Week has always been an important celebration for Benalla Rural City.
‘We are proud that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags have been displayed permanently outside our Council Chambers since NAIDOC Week 2016.’
The Advisory Committee consists of a number of local Aboriginal community members, including several respected elders and representatives from organisations including Mungabareena Aboriginal Corporation, Department of Education, Benalla Health, Central Hume Primary Care Partnership, Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA), Thales and Benalla Rural City Council. The Advisory Committee meets monthly to discuss issues of importance to the local community, to host events such as NAIDOC week activities and the Proud and Deadly Awards, to raise awareness of culture and to provide advice to Council and other organisations regarding communication and engagement with the local First Nations community.