Uniting Australians with NAIDOC week

JUSTIN FAULL

Hundreds of students and visitors celebrated Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander history and culture as a part of NAIDOC week last July at Griffith University.

Among the festive celebrations were numerous Aboriginal food stalls, cooking classes and art workshops run by Black and Deadly.

The Yallburru community services operates the Black and Deadly program, which aims at providing workshops, classes and recreational activities for disadvantaged Aboriginal youth.

Member of the Yallburru community, Annie Woodcock, said that [we] have the education to make a difference.

“Our education in the cities can be taken back to the rural areas,” Mrs Woodcock said.

“We can really make a difference.”

Co-founder of Black and Deadly, Aunty Patricia Leavy, said the turnout was an outstanding effort on part of Griffith University.

Yet despite the focus on Aboriginal unity, Patricia said that there needs to be a greater unity of people of all cultures.

“I was isolated from aboriginal people in the [Catholic school] community due to my hair colour [as a child] …” Mrs Leavy said.

“I was known as the fuzzy wuzzy black chick…from white and aboriginal people…”

These experiences inspired Patricia to develop Black and Deadly to prevent alienation in the local communities.

As the day ended, Patricia wanted to remind people of what the day stood for.

“People have to remember that we are only the hosts,” she said. “I would like to see everyone [here] together as one all the time.”

The NAIDOC week celebrations are expected to return to Griffith next year.

 

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