The fog and drizzle didn’t dampen the spirit of NAIDOC Week Celebrations at Forbes High School last week where Indigenous culture and identity was celebrated through music, dance and awards. Blake, Tai and Warren Baxter opened the event with a traditional smoking ceremony and didgeridoo performance, followed by Welcome to Country and then comments from Forbes Mayor Phyllis Miller.
“It is important to remember that NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by all Australians from all walks of life,” Cr Miller said. “Forbes Shire Council would like to recognise the outstanding contributions that Aboriginal Australians make to improve the lives of Aboriginal people in our community, or to promote Aboriginal issues through our local NAIDOC Awards.”
Paige Thomas, Warren Baxter and Tai Baxter were each presented with the 2015 Aboriginal Youth of the Year Award. Each recipient was commended for their efforts and achievements in sports and academics. “All three of these young people regularly volunteer and contribute to community events with dance and other cultural presentations,” Cr Miller said. The 2015 Aboriginal Person of the Year was awarded to David Acheson for his key role in the foundation and development of Forbes Aboriginal and Community Working Party, and for his participation with the wider Aboriginal community.
After a traditional dance performance from Red Bend Catholic College dancers, the Forbes High School band, House of Tribes performed, followed by a lifting performance from Orange outfit PreDestined, which had some students and the Mayor getting out of their chairs to dance.