NAIDOC Week: Celebrating 40 millennia
Spirited performance: Strong Spirit Dancers help celebrate NAIDOC Week at the Hume Global Learning Centre. Picture: Scott McNaughtonABORIGINAL and Torres Straight Islanders were celebrated in Hume with a range of festive activities during the just-completed NAIDOC Week.
The seven days celebrated two cultures and recognised the contributions of indigenous Australians in various fields.
The 2011 census data showed an increased number of indigenous people in Hume – from 892 in 2006 to 1047 last year.
Hume Council partnered Kangan Institute to host a day of events at the Hume Global Learning Centre in Broadmeadows on Thursday.
‘The Gunung-Willam-Balluk community and their forebears have been custodians for many centuries and have performed age-old ceremonies of celebration, initiation and renewal.’ – Ros Spence
The events featured indigenous artists Kutcha Edwards and Paul Carey as well as Aboriginal music, art, culture, dance, custom and traditions.
Hume mayor Ros Spence said the area’s diverse history stretched back over 40,000 years, to when the first indigenous communities of Gunung-Willam-Balluk came to the area.
“The Gunung-Willam-Balluk community and their forebears have been custodians for many centuries and have performed age-old ceremonies of celebration, initiation and renewal,” she said.
“It’s important to acknowledge their living culture and unique role in the life of this region.
“Council’s commitment to acknowledge the tradition and ways of the ancestors, elders and people of the Gunung-Willam-Balluk is one example of how we are stepping forward as a community towards closing the gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders and non-indigenous Australians.”
Other NAIDOC events included a performance by the Strong Spirit Dancers and entertainment by Kangan’s Indigenous Education Centre students.