This year’s annual NAIDOC Art Exhibition was launched on Sunday at the Lennox Community Centre.
Throughout NAIDOC Week, everyone is invited to attend and view the unique vibrate works on display from local Goori Artists sharing their Aboriginal cultural heritage. The exhibit can be viewed during LCC opening hours all NAIDOC Week until 4pm Thursday afternoon.
Also in celebration of NAIDOC week, on Monday morning the whole community is encouraged to participate in a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture by joining the walk along Ballina’s River Street. This will be followed by official Welcome to Country, speeches, dance performances and the Flag Raising.
At the Art Exhibition launch, in her welcome speech, Aunty Nancy Walke from the local Bunjum Aboriginal Corporation asked all Australians to work together in unity for a shared future.
Bunjum’s Cultural Matters Project Officers Denise Duroux and Tania Marlowe, Coordinators of the Exhibition also spoke of the 2019 NAIDOC Week theme: VOICE TREATY TRUTH. In reference to the theme, Tania addressed the audience with a ‘Statement From The Heart’ which came out of the 2017 National Constitutional Convention. In summary, the statement asks that we all:
Acknowledge, and accept the truth of the past; this land was inhabited by ancestors with an ancient independent sovereignty that has never been ceded or extinguished, and co-exists with the sovereignty of the Crown.
“We seek constitutional reforms and empower our people to take a rightful place in our own country. When we have power over our destiny our children will flourish. They will walk in two worlds and their culture will be a gift to their country.”
The Statement calls to today’s establishment for a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution. A Makarrata that culminates, the coming together after a struggle, aspirations for a fair and truthful relationship with the people of Australia where everyone is treated equal for a better future.
Mayor David Wright followed in his address by saying how he wished that this year Australia finally reaches the point of acceptance and embraces the VOICE TREATY TRUTH message.
(Pictured above: from Bunjum Aboriginal Corporation are (L to R) Denise Duroux, Nancy Walke and Tania Marlowe at NAIDOC Week Annual Art Exhibition launch at Lennox Community Centre.)