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Griffith City Council is inviting members of the community to help officially mark the start of NAIDOC Week in Griffith by attending a flag raising ceremony on Monday 9 July, 2018 at 10am outside Council Chambers.

NAIDOC Week, which runs from Sunday 8 July to Sunday 15 July, is a celebration of the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and this year's theme is "Because of her, we can".

The theme celebrates the importance, resilience and vital role that Aboriginal women have played and continue to play as active and significant role models at community, local, state and national levels.

Women just like local Aboriginal elders Aunty Judy Johnson, who will be speaker at Council’s celebration and Aunty Gloria Goolagong, who will perform the Welcome to Country.

The NAIDOC Week flag raising ceremony will take place at 10am outside Council Chambers, with a special morning tea held following the ceremony.

Mayor John Dal Broi said Council recognises the importance of Aboriginal people in the history and growth of Griffith and its surrounding villages.

“We also acknowledge the Wiradjuri people as traditional owners of the land and waters and pay respect to Wiradjuri elders past, present and future,” said Cr Dal Broi

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women play such a significant part in our community. They are mothers, elders, grandmothers, aunties, sisters and daughters.

“NAIDOC week is a wonderful opportunity for everyone to come together in a positive way to recognise the enormous contribution that Indigenous Australians make to the community.”

Griffith City Council’s Community Development Coordinator, Peta Dummett, said work was currently being undertaken to complete Council’s first ever Reconciliation Action Plan.

“I am looking forward to working closely with our Elders on this Action Plan,” said Ms Dummett.

“Through this Plan we hope to achieve a number of positive outcomes while building awareness and promoting significant events across the broader community. The Plan will acknowledge Council’s commitment to supporting the reconciliation process and closing the gap in disadvantage between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the importance of strong partnerships to continue our journey to reconciliation.”

A number of other community events will be held in the city throughout NAIDOC Week including Griffith Base Hospital’s barbecue and celebrations on Wednesday July 11, 2018 from 11.30am -1.30pm on the lawn area between the Emergency Department and Surgical Ward, for more information call 6969 5508.

The celebrations will continue on Thursday 12 July, 2018 when the 2018 Griffith NAIDOC Awards are presented by the Griffith Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) at the Griffith Ex-Serviceman’s Club. Tickets are available at the Griffith AMS, contact 6962 0000 for more details.

Also on Thursday 12 July, 2018, Griffith Regional Art Gallery will hold a free Curator Talk about the For Country, For Nation exhibition and provide morning tea. For more information contact the Gallery 6962 8338.

Griffith City Library will also celebrate NAIDOC Week 2018 with a Dreamtime Storytime on Friday 6 July, 2018 at 11am. Children will listen to dreamtime stories and afterwards create their own NAIDOC library bags with Veronica Collins.