Tuesday, 7 March 2017
NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall is urging community groups to plan local events for the upcoming NAIDOC Week 2017, with $200,000 in grants on offer to help create celebrations of indigenous culture, history and achievements.
This year’s national theme is ‘Our Languages Matter’ – a nod to the rich tapestry of language and culture kept alive by indigenous nations across the country.
Mr Marshall says there are many opportunities for events to be held across the region.
“We have many towns with a strong indigenous culture like Moree – and the community in Armidale is doing great work in rediscovering the Anaiwan language,” Mr Marshall said.
“Aboriginal culture is deeply tied with language, but we’re seeing indigenous languages facing extinction since European settlement. There is great scope for local groups to use grants to educate young indigenous people about their language and past, and the broader community about how Aboriginality has shaped Australia.
“Aboriginal culture is an important part of Australia’s past, present and future all year round – but it’s great to be able to celebrate it specifically during NAIDOC week.”
NAIDOC week is led by the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee, and driven by the local community. Schools, councils, workplaces and government agencies are encouraged to take part.
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Sarah Mitchell said NAIDOC Week was an opportunity for all in NSW to get together and celebrate the unique place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our communities.
“This year NSW will become the first state in the nation to introduce legislation to recognise and protect Aboriginal languages, as well as establishing a Centre for Aboriginal Languages of NSW to support community-led revival efforts,” Mrs Mitchell said.
NAIDOC Week is held nationally in the first week of July, which this year is 2-9th July.
Grant applications are open until Thursday, 27 April.
Not-for-profit community groups are asked to apply via www.aboriginalaffairs.nsw.gov.au