Aboriginal culture and history were celebrated at the annual Forbes Wiradjuri Dreaming Centre NAIDOC Day held on Monday. The Forbes Indigenous community were joined in their festivities by various local schools, community members and service providers.
This year’s event was held under the NAIDOC theme ‘Because of her, we can!’. The theme celebrates the essential role that women have played – and continue to play – as active and significant role models at community, local, state and national level.
The celebrations were started off with a smoking ceremony, an ancient custom among Aboriginal Australians in which native plants are burnt to produce smoke to pay respect to the land of country. The smoke is believed to have healing and cleansing properties.
Proving to be very popular, especially among the children who attended, were traditional dances performed by the Lore men from the local Wiradjuri tribe Yarangirri Holmes, Uncle Kyle Baxter and Uncle Blake Baxter. Traditional dances generally portray battles, hunting and animals which were both prey and totems. Children who volunteered, were lucky enough to participate in some of the dancing activities.
The Forbes North Wiradjuri choir also performed and there were many activities to educate attendees about Indigenous culture and history.
The event also included traditional bush tucker, Indigenous games and much more. Forbes Shire Council will be hosting a NAIDOC Day, celebrating the achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on Wednesday, 12th September from 10:30am to 1:30pm at South Circle Oval.
By Gizell van Wyk