Women were applauded for their contribution to the community following Tingha’s NAIDOC March on Monday morning.
Over 100 people marched the street to honour Indigenous culture, many proudly wearing the colourful Inverell/Tingha NAIDOC committee’s warrior woman shirts, designed by Aboriginal artist Vicky Duncan to compliment this year’s ‘Because of her, we can’ theme.
Children waved tiny Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags and the red and yellow NAIDOC banner was a striking sight, leading the long line of marchers.
Member for New England Barnaby Joyce, his partner Vikki Campion and baby Sebastian joined in the celebrations.
“It’s just good to come here and be part of their celebration for what is an incredibly strong cultural connection from here, way, way, way back,” Mr Joyce said.
Aunty Sue Blacklock reminded marchers to listen to their elders.
“Listen to their stories so you can pass it on to your children and they can pass it onto their children. Look, listen and learn,” she said.
Anaiwan Local Aboriginal Land Council chair Jenny Johnson talked about the value of the women-focused NAIDOC theme.
“For far too long our women have gone unrecognised,” she said.
“We need to remember they are our mothers, our elders, our grandmothers, our sisters, our aunties and our daughters. During this week we take time to honour and respect our women and let them know that you are thankful for the love they give and everything else in our community that makes our lives richer and our community greater.”
Rugby league legend Nathan Hindmarsh came by after the march to share a game of footy with local children. He had his ears checked in the Armajun Aboriginal Health Service van and met the community’s elders.
The Tingha march was one of many NAIDOC activities this week. Locals also visited Community Health to remember the life of former member Leona Quinell.
A lunch will be held at Danthonia from 11.40am today and the Linking Together Centre will host a family fun day on Wednesday.
A women’s gathering at Inverell East Bowling Club from 10am on Thursday will include a fashion parade and guest speakers. Finally, Inverell’s march, flag raising and awards will run from 11am-2.30pm on Friday. The march begins at the library carpark, and ends at Victoria Park.