2018 NAIDOC Week celebrations in Port Stephens

Leigh Ridgeway performs a smoking ceremony at the 2018 NAIDOC Week opening event outside Port Stephens Council's administration building on Monday, July 9.Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts
Leigh Ridgeway performs a smoking ceremony at the 2018 NAIDOC Week opening event outside Port Stephens Council's administration building on Monday, July 9.Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

Reconciliation and community are at the heart of the Port’s annual NAIDOC Week celebrations but this year the focus has been turned to Indigenous women.

The roles Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women play in their communities will be highlighted during NAIDOC events under the 2018 theme ‘because of her, we can’.

“NAIDOC Week is an important time in our calendar for all within Port Stephens to come together and celebrate all Indigenous people,” Port mayor Ryan Palmer said.

“This year, NAIDOC Week is focusing the role of Indigenous women in our culture, social and political world, which is often overlooked or forgotten. 

“It is these women who have blazed the way for Indigenous peoples throughout the country by keeping the dream time alive through stories, fighting for Indigenous rights and championing the oldest continuing culture on the planet.”

Celebrating the 2018 NAIDOC theme because of her, we can at the Raymond Terrace ceremony on Monday, July 9.

Celebrating the 2018 NAIDOC theme because of her, we can at the Raymond Terrace ceremony on Monday, July 9.

NAIDOC Week began on Sunday, July 8 and will end Sunday, July 15. 

As has become tradition for this week in Port Stephens, the council has worked with the Worimi and Karuah local Aboriginal land councils and community to hold events.

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“We’re proud to celebrate NAIDOC week through events and activities for the whole community,” Cr Palmer said. “With marches, the annual NAIDOC Touch Football Championship and a family fun day planned, I strongly encourage all to attend.”

The Port’s NAIDOC activities began in Raymond Terrace on Monday.

A march was held through Raymond Terrace before the welcome to country, smoking and flag raising ceremonies at Port Stephens Council’s administration building. There, a first of its kind agreement was signed between Port Stephens Council and the land councils.

There a similar march and ceremony was held in Nelson Bay on Wednesday.

A touch football competition between police, RAAF, the Worimi Aboriginal community, council and education department will be held at Boyd Oval, Medowie from 8am on Thursday, July 12. The opening ceremony will be held at 9am.

The march through Raymond Terrace on Monday, July 9:

It is expected Port Stephens mayor Ryan Palmer will line up for Port Stephens Council this year.

The week will wrap up with a family fun day at King Park in Raymond Terrace on Friday, July 13. 

The event, traditionally held at Murrook Cultural Centre, saw more than 3000 people attend last year.

Open to all members of the community between 10am and 2pm, the day features a variety of children’s and cultural activities, live entertainment, information booths and demonstrations.

Following NAIDOC Week, PCYC Nations of Origin will be held in Port Stephens between July 16-20 seeing hundreds of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people representing Aboriginal nations from across the state take part in sporting competitions such as rugby sevens, touch football, netball and boxing.

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