The strength of women was front and centre during a NAIDOC gathering at the East Bowling Club on Thursday.
The booked out room celebrated women’s contribution to society, and focused on the 2018 NAIDOC theme ‘Because of her, we can’.
Organiser Beryl Hepi was proud to also carry her maiden name Connors.
“It’s because of our strong mothers we are where we are today,” she said. She pointed to the value of strong family connections among Aboriginal people.
“We know who all our relations are. They just mention their name and their totem,” Beryl said.
She said the day was about looking back at the achievements of Inverell’s mothers, aunties, grandmothers and great grandmothers, who paved the way for younger women.
“They were the ones that actually looked after us and nurtured us right through our growing up years,” she said.
Guest speaker Sandra Phillips spoke on the strength of women, and local Aboriginal poet Esther Gardiner read a piece inspired by the ‘Because of her, we can’ theme.
Attendees were encourage to share their own stories of positivity and strong women.
NAIDOC celebrations continue
Locals are invited to keep celebrating NAIDOC in Inverell tomorrow, Friday July 13, by coming along to the town march and awards ceremony. The schedule is as follows.
- 11am - NAIDOC March from Inverell Shire Library car park to Victoria Park.
- 11.20am - Smoking ceremony performed by Kelvin Brown.
- 11.30am - Welcome to Country by Beryl Hepi.
- 11.40am - An Elder and a young person will performe the flag raising.
- 11.50am - Josh Blair will lead the Aboriginal dancers.
- 12pm - Guest speakers.
- 12.30pm - Awards ceremony
- 1pm - Cutting of the cake.