Penrith will join communities across NSW in celebrating NAIDOC Week (1 – 8 July), Member for Penrith Stuart Ayres said today.
Mr Ayres said local events include the Penrith City Council NAIDOC Week launch with NSW Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Victor Dominello, the Aboriginal flag raising at Penrith Local Area Command and the Family Fun Day at Jamison Park on Friday.
“NAIDOC Week is a great opportunity to celebrate the contribution of Aboriginal people and culture to Australian life,” Mr Ayres said.
\”It is also an opportunity for the broader community to recognise the progress made by Aboriginal communities in the face of adversity.
\”Locally we are doing this every day through an extensive collection throughout Penrith libraries, the Red Hands Cave walk through the Blue Mountains National Park at Glenbrook and the Murru Mittigar Cultural Centre in Castlereagh.
\”It is important to recognise NAIDOC Week because it emphasises the opportunities presented in the aboriginal affairs portfolio every bit as much as we need to address challenges.\”
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Victor Dominello said recognising and honouring Aboriginal culture can help Aboriginal kids to stay engaged at school – which can ultimately lead to more opportunities for education and employment.
“When I meet with Aboriginal communities, the importance of culture, language and knowing where you come from is raised a lot,” Mr Dominello said.
“NAIDOC Week is a great time for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people learn about and share this unique culture.
“The latest Census results show NSW has the largest Aboriginal population of any state or territory.
“In fact, since 2006 the population has grown by almost 25 per cent to over 170,000.
“That’s why it’s so important that we empower Aboriginal people to celebrate their culture and share it with the broader community,” Mr Dominello said.