Over 1500 students celebrate culture at 9th Annual NAIDOC Cup

It was a calm and cool morning as NCNS staff began to arrive at the Hunter Fields early on Friday 21st June to get ready for our 9th Annual NAIDOC Cup. NAIDOC Cup is a huge day, so we concentrated on setting up as quick as possible to ensure that the event ran smoothly. NAIDOC Cup was bigger and better than ever this year, with over 1500 students from 30 schools throughout the Penrith area.

The men and women from the Lions Club of Emu Plains started up the barbeques as soon as they arrived. Throughout the day, they cooked hundreds of sausages, steaks and onions to feed over 2200 students, teachers and community who attended NAIDOC Cup.

Suddenly swarms of students began to march down the hill from their buses and soon enough the Hunter Fields were packed with hundreds of faces, who waited in eager anticipation for the day to come.

We began the day with a Welcome to Country by Uncle Wes, who then performed a smoking ceremony./

The older students were eager to begin the Oz Tag and Netball competitions, while the Joeys were provided lunch before they began rotations of their activities for the day.

The amazing volunteers and staff that manned the food tent worked hard all day long, making sure everyone was fed, without a moment to spare.

NAIDOC Cup is a great opportunity for the younger children to celebrate and learn more about their culture.  At the Art & Craft tent, children got to create their own designs while they listened to the history behind each item.

Koomurri played the didgeridoo, aboriginal art and face painting with ochre.

Throughout the day you could see all the children wearing their face paint with pride. Once the older kids had finished their games, they would come to our information desk and would ask where they could get their face painted.

Larry Brandy entertained the Joeys in his Story telling tent.

Children got to enjoy having a go at Aboriginal dance, having fun and laughing with their friends.

At the end of the day, we announced the winners of Senior & Junior Netball & Oz tag competitions. Congratulations to our winners below:

Senior netball – Cambridge Gardens Public School
Junior Netball – Mount Riverview Public School
Senior Oz Tag – Cambridge Gardens Public School
Junior Oz Tag – Cambridge Gardens Public School

We would like to give a massive shout out to Westfield Penrith for all of your support with this event.

Thank you to Lawrence from Australian Unity – Wangary, for your support and decking out our amazing referees with stylish uniforms and gifting them with a shirt that they could take home!

To the men and women from the Lions Club of Emu Plains who have worked hard and volunteered their time for NAIDOC Cup for so many years.

Thank you so much to our partners and volunteers for your time and hard work; Uniting, Primary Health Network (PHN), JK Williams Contracting, Platform Youth Services, Wentworth Housing, West Connect, all of the incredible high school students from Glenmore Park High School and Cranebrook High School as well as all of our other volunteers. We value your support and time.

Thank you to the teachers, parents, community and students who came along and enjoyed the day, whether it was Art & Craft, Koomurri, Storytelling with Larry Brandy, Aboriginal dance or playing in the netball & Oz Tag competitions, you all showed respect for us and each other, and celebrated Aboriginal culture. That is what the day is all about!

Until next year, from all the team at NCNS.

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