NAIDOC Week (July 7-14) is a time for all Australians to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
This year's theme is Voice, Treaty, Truth - Let's work together for a shared future and highlights the desire of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to have a seat at the bargaining table in discussions of Constitutional reform and treaties; and for a truthful depiction of colonisation to underpin the narrative of Australian history.
NAIDOC Week invites Hastings residents to walk in a movement for a better future through raising a greater national awareness of the three key elements to the reforms set out in the Uluru Statement.
Arising out of the 2017 national gathering of First Nations representatives, the Uluru Statement represented the unified position and specifically sequenced a set of reforms: first, a First Nations voice to Parliament enshrined in the Constitution and second, a Makarrata Commission to supervise treaty processes and truth-telling.
NAIDOC Week also celebrates that 2019 is the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages which aims to promote and acknowledge Indigenous languages or 'voice' as the first words spoken on this continent and the 65,000 plus year-old voice of this country.
Hastings events will kick-off at 10am on Monday, July 8 with the Birpai Gamba (Call Out) and Welcome to Country at the Glasshouse forecourt in Port Macquarie, followed by a community march to the Town Green for the annual flag raising ceremony.
The popular NAIDOC Community Fun Days will also take place again this year, commencing at 9.30am on Tuesday at the indoor stadium in Wauchope, and 10am on Thursday at the racecourse in Port Macquarie.
The fun days will include traditional dances; art workshops and the opportunity for people to listen to local elders tell yarns and stories about the past.
There will also be lots of fun for the kids, bush tucker tastings as well as special performances by Gambirra Mob, for all ages to enjoy.
Aboriginal liaison officer Kelly O'Brien said NAIDOC Week is a great opportunity for all Australians to come together to create a shared future.
"Recognising our past is critical to ensuring that all Australians, no matter your background, culture or creed can walk together as one moving forward," Ms O'Brien said.
"Our local NAIDOC Week events are available to everyone, from the Birpai Gamba to the community fun days; they recognise our local Birpai people and are a great way for our whole community to learn more about local Aboriginal history and culture."
Other celebrations during NAIDOC Week include the NAIDOC Cup at Dixie Park, a Children's Fishing Workshop in Wauchope and the annual Aboriginal Men's Golf Day and women's Barefoot Bowls Challenge.
"Council encourages the entire community to come together to learn more about and celebrate our local Aboriginal culture at this year's NAIDOC celebrations," Ms O'Brien said.
For generations, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have looked for significant and lasting change. We need our fellow Australians to join us on this journey - to finish the unfinished business of this country.National NAIDOC Co-Chair Pat Thompson
National NAIDOC Co-Chair Pat Thompson says that for generations, Indigenous Australians have sought recognition of their unique place in Australian history and society today.
"For generations, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have looked for significant and lasting change. We need our fellow Australians to join us on this journey - to finish the unfinished business of this country."
"The 2017 Uluru Statement from the Heart built on generations of consultation and discussions among Indigenous people - we need to be the architects of our lives and futures," she concluded.
National NAIDOC Co Chair John Paul Janke believes 2019 is also a unique opportunity to hear this nation's Indigenous voice with the year being celebrated as the UN's International Year of Indigenous Languages.
"It's time for our knowledge to be heard through our voice. - an Indigenous voice of this country that is over 65,000 plus years old."
"They are the first words spoken on this continent. Languages that passed down lore, culture and knowledge for over millennia."
"They are precious to our nation and need to be celebrated but it's our voice that needs to be listened too," he said.
The 2019 theme acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have always wanted an enhanced role in decision-making in Australia's democracy.