Dalby State High School students Isabel and Olivia with a NAIDOC painting. Picture: Jenny Thomas
Dalby State High School students Isabel and Olivia with a NAIDOC painting. Picture: Jenny Thomas

Indigenous culture celebrated around the Western Downs

DURING a year of uncertainties and restrictions, the revered culture of Indigenous Australians was celebrated in and around the Western Downs.

NAIDOC Week 2020 acknowledges and celebrates Australia's rich Indigenous history, with this year's theme Always was, always will be highlighting the First Nation peoples' connection to the land for more than 65,000 years.

Traditionally held in July, celebrations were postponed to November 8-15 this year due to the troubling restrictions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Clontarf's TJ and Luke cooking sausages at Dalby State High School's NAIDOC celebrations. Picture: Jenny Thomas
Clontarf's TJ and Luke cooking sausages at Dalby State High School's NAIDOC celebrations. Picture: Jenny Thomas

Several events in and around the Western Downs and South Burnett promoted Indigenous culture, with Dalby Burnett district crime prevention coordinator senior constable Dan O'Hara speaking about his visits to Cherbourg on November 10.

"I was made very welcome by the local people especially Uncle Eric LAW O. A. M the former Mayor of Cherbourg and one of the Wakka Wakka Elders," he said.

"Uncle Eric entertained the members of the yarning circle with stories of his childhood and the challenges of growing up in pre-1967 Cherbourg."

Senior constable O'Hara said the yarning circle were given mountains of billy tea, home made damper and golden syrup, with the day involving a myriad of activities involving dancing, face painting and singing.

Kerri Reilly Combarngo, Tom Hockenfull, Luke, Ruben Davis, Argyle, Senior constable Dan O'Hara and TJ. Picture: Jenny Thomas
Kerri Reilly Combarngo, Tom Hockenfull, Luke, Ruben Davis, Argyle, Senior constable Dan O'Hara and TJ. Picture: Jenny Thomas

"A large number of Government agencies supported the event which despite COVID-19 restrictions went off very well," he said.

Senior constable O'Hara attended Dalby State High School on November 12 for their NAIDOC celebrations and a painting competition in partnership with the Clontarf foundation.

Dalby police senior liaison officer Jenny Thomas said the exists to improve the education, discipline, life skills, self esteem and employment prospects of young aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men.


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