City of Ballarat is hosting a number of great events this NAIDOC Week to recognise and celebrate the living history of the Wadawurrung and all Traditional Owners.
Council acknowledges the significance of NAIDOC Week as a time for not only the Ballarat community but the whole of Australia to celebrate the history, culture, and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The City of Ballarat is committed to taking positive steps towards working alongside the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to ensure greater protection for the lands, waters, sacred sites, cultural heritage and ensuring we continue to walk the talk.
Council’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) details the scope of projects and initiatives that help build these positive relationships, such as;
- Djila-tjarriu (play of play) was a finalist in the 2021 Reconciliation Victoria HART Awards (Helping Achieve Reconciliation Together).
- Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer attending BADAC regularly to consult with community and share information and resources.
- MCH have completed Indigenous cultural audit tool for City of Ballarat MCH as part of service improvement planning.
- National Sorry Day was acknowledged with an event hosted by Ballarat Libraries featuring local Stolen Generation member Uncle Murray Harrison as well as media coverage with City of Ballarat Mayor and BADAC CEO Karen Heap.
- The annual Heritage Festival included a focus on local Aboriginal creatives including Wadawurrung artist Tammy Gilson and the Craft Lab + Design Expo provided workshops and demonstration opportunities. This is in line with the UNESCO City of Crafts and Folk Art pillar which seeks to reinvigorate the skills of our Indigenous communities.
The theme for NAIDOC Week this year, Heal Country, calls for stronger measures to recognise, protect, and maintain all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage.
Celebrations during NAIDOC Week are encouraged and often organised by communities, government agencies, local councils, schools and workplaces.
Events in Ballarat this year include a flag raising ceremony at Lake Wendouree, Online Storytime, Smoking Ceremony and Acknowledgement of Country at Ballarat & District Aboriginal Co-operative, Elders Day, a movie night, and much more.
For the first time in about 20 years, the official flag raising ceremony will take place at View Point Lake Wendouree instead of Queen Victoria Square as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flag will be flown from this location on a permanent basis.
City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Daniel Moloney, said NAIDOC Week and celebrating the Indigenous communities of our region is incredibly important to council.
“The City of Ballarat has been a major supporter of this important and significant week and we look forward to being able to present a calendar of events from 4-11 July,” he said.
“For us on council, celebrations like NAIDOC Week give us a wonderful opportunity to continue and strengthen our relationships with the Indigenous Community.”
“We know that actions speak more than words so to be able to listen and include the perspectives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our actions and plans, the permanent flags at the lake and the art installation on the roundabout at Armstrong and Dana Streets, is so important.”
“We have a lot to be proud of in the Indigenous Community in Ballarat and surrounds; I look forward to this continued relationship in what we are doing now and on our future shared journey.”
Council thanks supporters who have come on board to support the Ballarat NAIDOC Week 2021 Launch, Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative (BADAC), Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee (RAJAC), Local Aboriginal Network (LAN) Aboriginal Education Centre (AEC) Federation University and Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), these organisations have come together to support this event.
This NAIDOC Week let’s keep our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mob safe by making sure our events and celebrations are held in a COVID safe way.
We ask for the communities understanding should any event be postponed due to any new COVID restrictions.