Healesville will today be a place of joint celebration with police officers, employees and community members coming together at the annual Victoria Police NAIDOC event.
The event, this year held at the Healesville Indigenous Community Services Association from 11am, will honour the richness and diversity of the Victorian Aboriginal community and build on existing relationships during this significant week, which officially commences on 7 July.
The theme of this year’s NAIDOC Week is Voice, Treaty and Truth.
Leading up to the event, Acting Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said the occasion gave police across the state the opportunity to connect with Victoria’s Aboriginal community.
“I am proud to be joining my colleagues and the community to share in the ceremony and stories as a way to strengthen relationships and continue working towards reconciliation,” Acting CCP said.
“Having positive partnerships with Victoria’s Aboriginal community is very important to us and is a key component to reducing negative contact with the justice system.
“Our Aboriginal Community Liaison Officers continue to make great strides in breaking down barriers between police and community.
“Their efforts ensure the voices of our Aboriginal community are heard, understood and valued.
“As an organisation, Victoria Police will continue to work in partnership with Victorian Aboriginal communities to reduce their overrepresentation in the justice system.”
Attendees will be welcomed by respected Wurundjeri Elder Aunty Joy Murphy and enjoy entertainment by local dance group, Djirri Djirri.
Local Inspector Clive Williams said it was great to have the annual event held at the significant Healesville space.
“I am excited to announce that the Healesville Police Station, for the first time, is proudly flying the Aboriginal flag this NAIDOC Week.
“Previously the station only had one flag pole, meaning it could only fly the Australian flag.
“Being able to fly both flags is important. Flying the Aboriginal flag ensures police stations feel welcoming and safe for Aboriginal Victorians.
Victoria Police will be flying Aboriginal flags at stations across the state in celebration and support during NAIDOC week.