Voice. Treaty. Truth is the 2019 NAIDOC Week theme but what does it mean?
This year’s theme refers to the 3 key elements to the reforms described in the Uluru Statement of the Heart.
VOICE – Refers to the establishment of a first nations voice to parliament (Aboriginal representative body) included in the constitution, ensuring Aboriginal people will always have a say when parliament makes laws and policies that affect them.
TREATY – The Uluru Statement seeks ‘a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and First Nations and truth-telling about our history’. Makarrata is a Yolngu word that means, ‘a coming together after a struggle.’
TRUTH – A call for a process of truth telling so all Australians can gain a true understanding of Australia’s history and colonisation, and the past injustices experienced by Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The Uluru Statement of the Heart was written by over 250 Aboriginal representatives from all over Australia, with a united position. The statement explains how Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people, the first sovereign nations of Australia, lived here under their own law and customs for over 65,000 years. The statement also includes the above 3 recommendations for how the government could recognise and support this sovereignty.
So, for this year’s NAIDOC Week, Nepean Community & Neighbourhood Services (NCNS) was once again a part of one of Sydney’s biggest NAIDOC Week celebrations, at Jamison Park in Penrith. NCNS is one of the original partners that helped to create the Jamison NAIDOC event 15 years ago. This occasion highlights the rich and diverse culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and importantly provides an opportunity for all members of the community to learn more about and to acknowledge the history, culture and achievements of the first Australians. We do this through our cultural tent, where community can enjoy cultural learning and interactive activities.
We started off the day with a weaving workshop led by NCNS Worker, Narelle Smith where families were able to make a wristband using traditional Aboriginal weaving techniques.
So many children were eager to learn, concentrating on mastering the technique.
We were thrilled to see kids who proudly showed off their finished bracelets and how they were excited to take it home with them as a memento of the day.
Next we moved onto an exhilarating Aboriginal cultural experience with Jessie Currie who ran a didge workshop, as well as artefacts, song and ochre face painting.
The ochre face painting is always a hit with the kids, and we love seeing their painted faces as they walked all over the grounds.
We finished off the day with women’s well-being pamper session to recognise and celebrate the significant role that Aboriginal women have played and continue to play in their communities.
We would like to thank all of the community who came along on the day, participated, shared and celebrated Aboriginal culture with us.