‘Always was, always will be’ theme for celebrations

Aunty Sue Bulger speaks at the flag raising on Monday at the Snowy Valleys Council building on Capper St, Tumut.

NAIDOC celebrations this week travelled from community to community, from the Brungle Health and Community Centre to the Snowy Valleys Council buildings in Tumut and Tumbarumba to local parks and preschools. 

The theme of NAIDOC this year is ‘Always Was, Always Will Be.’

According to NAIDOC, “Always Was, Always Will Be” acknowledges that hundreds of Nations and our cultures covered this continent. All were managing the land – the biggest estate on earth – to sustainably provide for their future.

“Through ingenious land management systems like fire stick farming we transformed the harshest habitable continent into a land of bounty.”

NAIDOC Week 2020 acknowledges and celebrates that our Australia’s story didn’t begin when the Dutch landed on the western coast of the Cape York Peninsula in 1606 or when Captain Cook landed at Botany Bay in 1770.

NAIDOC celebrates that “the very first footprints on this continent were those belonging to First Nations peoples.”

Flag raising ceremonies were held at the SVC building in Tumut last Monday and in Tumbarumba on Tuesday. A smoking ceremony in Bila Park followed the flag raising in Tumut.

The week will wrap up this Saturday, November 14, at the Brungle Bush Tucker Garden and Yarning Circle with NAIDOC Arts/Crafts and Business Markets and a NAIDOC Corporate Luncheon and cooking demonstration. Renowned Aboriginal chef Mark “Black” Olive will be the special guest at the event on Saturday.

Guests will be treated to a special NAIDOC BBQ menu curated and cooked by Mr Olive which will feature his trademark style of cooking, using native ingredients unique to Australia to provide a distinct flavor and hero element to each dish.

The markets and lunch are being run by a joint effort between the Brungle Health & Community Centre, INAC, Summit Aboriginal Services, Jaegers Event Hire, National Indigenous Australians Agency and Snowy Valleys Council.

The events begin at 10am and conclude at 8pm. Bookings for the lunch are required, due to Covid public health restrictions.