NCNS staff and volunteers arrived early on the misty Friday morning in preparation for the colossal day ahead. Being the 7th year of NAIDOC Cup, staff knew what they were in for; a jam-packed day, on their feet, ensuring an exhilarating and memorable experience for all the kids. As we looked out into the bare fields, dewy blades of grass glistened, as the sun started to come out from behind the clouds.
All of a sudden, the fields were swarmed with eager little faces, who have been waiting for this day all year long. In a moment, we were confronted by a stampede of ravenous children, with rumbling tummies. Three barbecues, six men and 1000 kids to feed; CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.
Ian, David K, David M, Bob, Ken and John from the Emu Plains Lions Club were faced with the mammoth task of cooking sausages, steaks and onions for the enormous crowd during the day. We would like to thank them for their massive contribution, we wouldn’t be able to do this event without you.
An important aspect of the day, is children learning about and experiencing their culture. Uncle Wes performed a smoking ceremony; an Aboriginal ancient custom involving native plants being burnt to produce smoke, to cleanse, ward off bad spirits and to pay respect to ancestors, the land and sea. A young Aboriginal girl in the crowd, was unaware of what the smoking ceremony was about and was able to experience this tradition for the first time.
Everywhere you looked on the fields were bustling with activity, children eating, laughing, and playing while affirming their identity and culture. While the schools vied for the Oz-Tag and netball shields in junior and senior competitions, there was a clear demonstration of good sportsmanship and kinship between the teams.
A group of young girls eagerly approached our information desk, announcing excitedly that this was their 3rd, 5th and 1st NAIDOC Cup and how much they love it!
A father expressed his sorrow that this was the last year his daughter would be competing in NAIDOC Cup, as she will be moving on to high school next year. He and his daughter have enjoyed the event so much over the years that they have decided to remain involved by volunteering next year.
All of the students filled with excitement, engagement and participation is the reason we continue to invest in this event every year. We could not run this event without the help of the volunteers and supporters and sponsors. A big thanks to Australian Unity, NBMPHN, Westfield, Information and Cultural Exchange, Community Junction and Emu Plains Lions Club.
Congratulations to Trudy Grant, our Aboriginal Community Coordinator for organising so much of this event, allowing NCNS to provide such an important day, that is a highlight for so many Aboriginal children within the Nepean area.
If you are interested in getting involved next year, please contact us on 4721 8520 or email firstname.lastname@example.org