NDS member organisations celebrate NAIDOC Week
NDS members around the country held NAIDOC Week events last week to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Aboriginal Elder Aunty Mary Hooker shared her story and encouraged other Indigenous people to take care of their health as part of the Guide Dogs NSW/ACT presence at NAIDOC Week events in Coffs Harbour, Grafton and Nambucca Heads.
Aunty Mary - a Bundjalung woman - lost her sight to diabetes, and has regained her independence through orientation and mobility services offered by Guide Dogs. She is now part of a Guide Dogs NSW/ACT initiative called the Aunty Mary Program. "I want to encourage more Aboriginal people to listen to their doctor or nurse regarding their diabetes or other health issues," Aunty Mary said.
In the Northern Territory, Anglicare NT staff hosted an event at their head office in Ludmilla, which included a flag raising ceremony. Anglicare NT staff were also involved with the NAIDOC march in Darwin, Katherine and Alice Springs.
Anglicare NT CEO Dave Pugh said, "It is an honour for all of us to live on Aboriginal land and to be able to celebrate along with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, friends and neighbours the living culture and the hope for the future we see together."
The House with No Steps launched its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) for 2017-2019 at a NAIDOC Week event, including a traditional smoking ceremony and didgeridoo performance. The RAP is a living document whose primary purpose is to make Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures part of everyday workplace considerations, program development and service delivery.
Belconnen Community Services presented NAIDOC by the Lake 2017 on the shores of Lake Ginninderra in collaboration with other community and government organisations. It featured face-painting, craft activities including traditional weaving, and a warm Welcome to Country by Ngunnawal elder, Auntie Agnes Shae. Performers included Johnny Huckle, Wirajuri Echoes, Rachel Armstrong and Talk Blak.
NDS acknowledges and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities providing and accessing disability services in Australia, and the work of service providers who support these communities.