Katungal services from Narooma to Batemans Bay have kicked off NAIDOC week with community driven events.
Batemans Bay branch manager Joanne Grant said the service had worked in partnership to create events that suited each community’s needs.
“In Batemans Bay we have activities in the gymnasium for the kids, bingo, we’ve just had our big feed, and a makeup artist who gifted her time for the day to do makeup on some of our elders,” she said.
“It’s about putting our women forward today, recognising the contributions they make at home and in the community.”
This years theme for NAIDOC is: ‘Because of her, we can!’
The theme is intended to bring women’s roles, often unsung, to the forefront of celebrations.
Musician Johnny Huckle performed at the Batemans Bay event.
“Johnny wrote a song dedicated to the contribution women make,” Ms Grant said.
“Without women, there is no life.
“We are the foundation of every household, the foundation of what’s happening in the community, what’s happening in the schools.”
NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Ms Grant said it was important to take the time to celebrate culture and the achievements of Aboriginal people throughout Australia.
“NAIDOC is really meaningful to the community because it’s our platform to show the richness of our culture,” she said.
“It’s also a platform to talk about some of the positives that happen in the Aboriginal community.
Often what you hear in the media is all negative, when we do make a valuable contribution to our communities.
“We recognise our elders and ancestors, as well as the contributions we are making at local, state and national levels.”