Port Macquarie-Hastings NAIDOC Week 2018 kicks off with strong Birpai women taking the lead

The sound of a didgeridoo rang out over the Glasshouse forecourt in Port Macquarie on July 9, signalling the beginning of NAIDOC Week 2018.

For the second year the Birpai Gamba (call out) recognised the start of NAIDOC Week which this year is underpinned by the theme Because of Her, We Can.

The call out was followed by an opening ceremony and flag raising on the Town Green and a morning tea.

Aboriginal educator Linda Olive said the theme for NAIDOC Week this year was a significant achievement.

“NAIDOC Week is the recognition and celebration of the traditional owners of the land and is focused around the celebration of language, culture and community,” Ms Olive said.

“The theme for NAIDOC Week this year is especially important because it recognises the significant contribution of women in the Aboriginal community.

“This year is all about identifying and celebrating the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander trailblazer women who were the first and most fierce advocates for a families and our children.”

Ms Olive said that for generations women have played some of the most instrumental roles in society.

“Our women have played a strong role on everything we do; they were the ones who fought for equal representation and they are they ones who encouraged and supported us so it is important that past, present and future women are recognised this NAIDOC Week,” she said.

“The 2018 theme gives our female leaders of the future inspiration to look at strong women leaders around them and say Because of Her, We Can too.”

Narelle Toomey and Robyn Martin said they are proud of the theme as it celebrates what Aboriginal women can do.

 “I have had many young girls comes up to me and say they are excited and proud of the 2018 theme,” Ms Toomey said.

“I think it has inspired our young girls.

“It shows that what we do as women is important and recognises that we are the backbone of our community, because behind every good man is a great woman.”

“We do have a strong role to play in society and it is wonderful that women of every generation and in every nation including the Birpai nation are being acknowledged,” Ms Martin said. 

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