Jun 29
NAIDOC Week Celebrated by Local Health District

The history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will be celebrated across Western NSW Local Health District during NAIDOC Week in 2016.

NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for everyone in our local communities to participate in activities to show support for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and will be celebrated nationally from 3 to 10 July.

The theme for 2016 is ‘the living narrative of our nation’, highlighting the importance of Songlines in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.

For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the Dreamtime describes a time when the earth, people and animals were created by ancestral spiritual beings. They created the rivers, lakes, plants, land formations and living creatures. Dreaming tracks crisscross Australia and trace the journeys of our ancestral spirits as they created the land, animals and lores.

These dreaming tracks are sometimes called ‘Songlines’ as they record the travels of these ancestral spirits who 'sung' the land into life.

Songlines are recorded in traditional songs, stories, dance and art and carry significant spiritual and cultural connection to knowledge, customs, ceremony and lore of many Aboriginal nations and Torres Strait Islander language groups.

Associate Director, Aboriginal Health Transition, David Meharg said the week is an opportunity for everyone in our local communities to join together and celebrate the significance of Aboriginal history and culture.

“NAIDOC Week is celebrated not only in Aboriginal communities but by all Australians from all walks of life,” Mr Meharg said.

“Within our district many communities participate in NAIDOC Week events during July, but some celebrate it later in the year to coincide with other community activities and warmer weather. There are many ways local communities can join in NAIDOC celebrations, and we encourage everyone to get involved.”

Pit stop programs, family gatherings and various other events to raise community awareness of the history, culture and achievements of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will run through NAIDOC Week.

For a full list of activities planned to mark NAIDOC Week in Western NSW Local Health District please visit our website: http://wnswlhd.health.nsw.gov.au/