Events celebrate culture connection | David Belcher

FOCAL POINT: A Smoking Ceremony outside the council chambers is a key part of NAIDOC week in Lake Mac.
FOCAL POINT: A Smoking Ceremony outside the council chambers is a key part of NAIDOC week in Lake Mac.

This week is NAIDOC Week, a time when we pause and celebrate our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community with vibrant and inclusive events and activities across the city.

Our city has a strong Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, who we work very closely with and each year. Council holds a traditional Smoking Ceremony outside the council chambers to recognise NAIDOC Week. This week's celebration was again a special event, marking the official launch of Council's Aboriginal Community Plan 2019-2023 'Bayikulinan'.

I was very proud to present this plan, which speaks to the strength and capacity of Aboriginal people in our city, their enduring connection to Country, their connection with the spirit of their ancestors and the Dreamtime, and their vision for the future.

Language, education and relationships are some of the areas we hope to maintain and strengthen through our actions over the four-year life of this plan. Consultation told us that these are priorities for our community that need to be addressed by supporting and involving Elders, so that connections to culture are maintained for future generations.

This point was particularly significant for this week's ceremony because the theme of 2019 NAIDOC Week - Voice. Treaty. Truth. - is all about working together for a shared future. Eastlakes NAIDOC Family Fun Day will be held 10am-3pm at the Pelican foreshore on July 19.

David Belcher, Deputy Mayor

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