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NAIDOC WEEK 2021 - ‘Heal Country!’

NAIDOC WEEK 2021 - ‘Heal Country!’
30 June 2021

City of Mount Gambier will acknowledge and celebrate our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community during NAIDOC Week, 4 - 11 July 2021.

The NAIDOC Week 2021 theme is ‘Heal Country!’ which calls for stronger measures to recognise, protect and maintain all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage.

“NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for all Australians to celebrate the rich history, diverse cultures and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” City of Mount Gambier Mayor Lynette Martin said.

Unfortunately, the annual Mayoral Reception and NAIDOC Awards presentation has been cancelled due to the reinstatement of social restrictions to avoid large community gatherings following COVID-19 outbreaks across Australia.

“It is with sadness that we must cancel this event, however, it is important to take proactive steps to protect the safety of our community.”

“As much as we will miss our annual NAIDOC Week community reception and flag raising ceremony, Council hopes to join with Pangula Mannamurna and Burrandies Aboriginal Corporation to revisit a similar community celebration in the future,” Mayor Martin said.

NAIDOC week community programming will go ahead as planned at the Riddoch Arts & Cultural Centre and the Mount Gambier Library.

Going back home – Black Crow – Daen Sansbury.
Going Back Home - Black Crow - Daen Sansbury
Going back home – Black Crow – Daen Sansbury.

The Riddoch Arts & Cultural Centre will welcome an exhibition by South Australian born Narungga and Trawoolwaway artist Daen Sansbury with his augmented reality series, Black Crow.

“The exhibition explores transference of inherited knowledge, stories and responsibility from a father to his young children. Through ochre, charcoal and acrylic on canvas, Sansbury maps ancestral memory and connection to country and draws upon cultural design of huge importance to the artist,” The Riddoch Arts & Cultural Centre Coordinator Talie Teakle said.

“These artworks then come to life using animated elements viewed through your device with the free augmented reality app, Eyejack. Download to your phone via the Apple store or Google Play, or use one of the supplied devices at the Riddoch.”

Black Crow will be on display in the Riddoch Foyer from Thursday 8 July 2021 until Sunday 29 August 2021.

NAIDOC Week activities at the Mount Gambier Library:

Tuesday 6 July 2021 at 10:00am - Contemporary Indigenous Themed Sand Art

Mindfully rub sand into a pre-glued template to create a unique piece of art. All ages.

Tuesday 6 July 2021 at 2:00pm - Nature Weaving with Aunty Val & Aunty Michelle

Learn basic weaving from a skilled local weaver. Ages 5-9.

Wednesday 7 July 2021 at 10:00am – Heal Country, Let’s Plant

Burrandies Aboriginal Corporation will host this session to discuss ‘Heal Country’. Children will be gifted with a plant to take home and taught how to tend to it for best growth. Ages 6-9.

Wednesday 7 July 2021 at 2:00pm – Nature Weaving with Aunty Val & Aunty Michelle

Learn basic weaving from a skilled local weaver. Ages 10-15.

Thursday 8 July 2021 at 10:00am – Layers of the Lands – Sand Bottles

Using coloured sand, choose the colour and patterns you will create in a bottle representing the many layers of our land.

Competition: NAIDOC Week colouring competition – Ages 8 and under.

“We are honoured to be led by local Elders in the nature weaving being delivered at the two age and skill levels which will be popular amongst our community,” Acting Library Manager Kristi Brooks said.

Reconciliation Action Plan Community Reference Group members (left to right): Bonnie-May Saunders, Uncle Mark Lovett, Belinda Bonney, Gilbert Rigney, Mayor Lynette Martin, Aunty Val Brennan, CEO Sarah Philpott and Aunty Michelle Jacquelin-Furr.
RAP CRG
Reconciliation Action Plan Community Reference Group members (left to right): Bonnie-May Saunders, Uncle Mark Lovett, Belinda Bonney, Gilbert Rigney, Mayor Lynette Martin, Aunty Val Brennan, CEO Sarah Philpott and Aunty Michelle Jacquelin-Furr.

During NAIDOC Week in 2020, Mayor Martin announced the members of the Yerkalalpata Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Community Reference Group (CRG). The CRG plays an important role in guiding Council in its ongoing delivery of the actions detailed within the plan.

“The group met in recent weeks to review our progress against a range of important actions and I’m so pleased to be guided by our very passionate and committed Elders and community leaders in our work in this area,” Mayor Martin said.


Media contact: City of Mount Gambier Media and Communications Coordinator Sharny McLean on 8721 2401 or smclean@mountgambier.sa.gov.au