2016 National NAIDOC Week Celebrations - Aboriginal Education and Communities
National NAIDOC Week occurred 3 - 10 July this year. The theme was Songlines: The living narrative of our nation.
The Aboriginal Education and Communities (AEC) Directorate celebrated NAIDOC with a morning tea in the William Wilkins Gallery in the Bridge Street offices of the Department. The event was attended by staff from the Department of Education, NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group, other NSW government agencies, Aboriginal community groups and students from the Endeavour High School Clontarf academy.
Uncle Charles "Chicka" Madden, a respected Gadigal Elder, opened the celebrations with a very warm Welcome to Country. And Aunty Ali Golding, a valued Biripi Elder performed a special dance entitled One Land, One People and she also shared important stories about her family.
Mr Greg Prior, Deputy Secretary, School Operations and Performance spoke about the importance of NAIDOC week. In doing this he acknowledged the central role of Aboriginal education for the entire Department. Part of this role is ensuring a brighter future for young Aboriginal people.
Ms Cindy Berwick, President, Aboriginal Education Consultative Group gave a powerful speech at the event. Cindy shared film of this year's Vivid Festival Projections on the Sydney Opera House to share important Aboriginal cultural themes.
Aboriginal students from the NSW Public Schools Aboriginal Dance Company performed a dance piece entitled Dry Mud. Their performance was inspiring and enjoyed by all.
Celebrating NAIDOC provided an opportunity to reflect on the survival of Aboriginal culture and its contemporary expressions. The NAIDOC celebration was a great success and highlighted through song, dance and stories all that is good about Aboriginal culture.
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