ALWAYS WILL BE: Warwick’s passionate fight for recognition
WARWICK’s indigenous community isn’t letting coronavirus restrictions dampen celebrations, as it turns the fight for recognition digital this year.
The annual week-long celebration was postponed from July to November, but many organisations have still chosen to run online or remote due to ongoing restrictions.
Darling Downs Heath is organising a NAIDOC Week colouring-in competition across Warwick schools to educate “our next generation in our history and culture”.
Director for indigenous health Rica Lacey said this year’s theme was particularly pertinent to the region’s ongoing health gap.
“Always Was, Always Will Be, celebrates that our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have lived and cared for our continent for over 65,000 years. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were Australia’s first explorers, first farmers, first botanists, first scientists, first navigators, and first artists,” she said.
“This week we celebrate the oldest continuing cultures on the planet.
“This is a time for us to celebrate that we all belong, and how by working together we realise better outcomes for everyone.”
A staggering gap stills lies between indigenous and Torres Strait Islander health and is widening, with a 2018 Australian Medical Association report revealing indigenous Australians are 2.3 times more likely to suffer from disease than non-indigenous Australians.
Ms Lacey urged residents to head to the Darling Downs Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Facebook page to learn more about the health disparity.
Flags would also fly at the Warwick Police station, where official acknowledgment ceremonies were cancelled, according to acting officer-in-charge Shane Reid.
“Flying the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags throughout NAIDOC Week confirms our national respect for indigenous Australians,” he said.
It was respect Southern Downs Mayor Vic Pennisi agreed the Warwick community should consistently remind themselves of.
“Australia’s First Nations people have the oldest continuing culture and we are reminded that we should celebrate this, not just during NAIDOC week, but every moment we enjoy our unique and precious home,” Cr Pennisi said.
For more information, head to www.naidoc.org.au
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