Opinion: NAIDOC week an important celebration

I AM proud the Lake Macquarie community and the council are actively involved in promoting NAIDOC week, which this year will be held between July 6 and 13.

This year, NAIDOC Week will honour all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women who have fought in defence of country, from our warriors in the Frontier Wars to our warriors who have served with honour and pride in Australia's military conflicts and engagements across the globe.

My father grew up in Port Macquarie and had many Aboriginal friends while he was in primary school, but when he entered into high school, he was told he wasn't allowed to associate with them.

During this time, Aboriginal men, who were serving the country, weren't even recognised as people but rather under the Flora and Fauna Act.

We have come a long way since then and celebrations to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women who, even though they were not citizens of this country at the time, fought for Australia to be what it is today, are long overdue.

I encourage residents to attend and take part in Lake Macquarie's NAIDOC Week celebrations which include flag raising ceremonies, the Westlakes community march, and family fun days. Go to lakemac.com.au for details.

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