NAIDOC Week flag-raising ceremony
Wednesday, 7th July, 2021
By Nardia Keenan
NAIDOC Week is from July 4 to 11 and the flag-raising ceremony at the Civic Centre on Monday was a moving start.
The theme for 2021 is ‘Heal Country’ and the Welcome to Country by Wilyakali elder, Aunty Maureen, was embraced by all.
‘Heal Country’ was hauntingly conveyed in Cory Paulson’s didgeridoo performance, which stirred the crowd, and Cory explained how the didgeridoo is about connection.
“The didgeridoo is a historical instrument that was given from Mother Earth and when I play, it actually connects me to, not only my ancestors, but Mother, from whence the didgeridoo came.
“It heals me to country and connects me to country.”
Speeches about country included Taunoa Bugmy thanking National Parks and Wildlife for their research in protecting nearly-extinct species and bush medicine.
Healing country is a collaborative effort and the flag-raising ceremony has a message of unity for all Australians, according to Torres Strait Islander woman, Amelia Butler, who arrived in Broken Hill from Fiji in 1972.
“It’s for all of us to come together as one.
“We are supposed to help each other so we are supposed to be one, not separate.”
Aunty Maureen has a simple message about bringing community together as one.
“We just ask that we be respected and to listen to us.”
For more information on NAIDOC Week activities and updates due to Covid restrictions, visit https://www.facebook.com/BrokenHillNAIDOC