Hume celebrates our sacred ground

The Hume community rests on sacred ground and its significance will be celebrated at a special event to mark NAIDOC Week.

Council will present a flag raising ceremony and indigenous entertainment at the Craigieburn Global Learning Centre, Central Park Avenue, on Thursday 9 July 2015 between 11am and 3pm.

Residents are invited to take part in the festivities, which will include dance and live music from a choir of Aboriginal elders.

Hume Mayor, Councillor Adem Atmaca, said this year’s ceremony offered the chance to learn more about the way indigenous people are connected to the land.

“The theme of NAIDOC Week is ‘we all stand on sacred ground’, and Hume City Council wants to honour the way indigenous people preserve the land and the sea,” Cr Atmaca said.

“There are several sites of significance in Hume for indigenous residents, and they have been a part of sacred ritual and initiation for many centuries.”

Indigenous people have lived and travelled on land that is now the Hume municipality for more than 40,000 years.

The Gunung-Willam-Balluk people inhabited the Hume area first, and their culture continues today.

Cr Atmaca said Council was keen to enhance opportunities for all indigenous residents.

“Hume City Council continually strives to improve the health and economic wellbeing of indigenous Australians,” he said.

“We want Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to attain the jobs and access the services that they require, and our Reconciliation Action Plan 2013-2017 outlines the steps Council is taking to improve the lives of indigenous residents.

“We’ve employed an Aboriginal Liaison Officer to assist indigenous elders to access assistance in their homes and to help run a respite program for families which have a relative with a disability.”

Hume City Council has installed a plaque on every Council building to recognise the traditional custodians of the land on which the building sits.

NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee, and was established in the 1920s by individuals who wanted to make Australians aware of the treatment of indigenous people.

NAIDOC Week is a national event which celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

Cr Atmaca encouraged everyone to join Council for its NAIDOC Week festivities.

“Many children will be on school holidays at the time, and that offers many families a great opportunity to come along and enjoy some wonderful indigenous culture,” he said.

“We’ll present activities for youngsters, and Council will also offer a complimentary lunch.

“Our NAIDOC Week celebrations are a chance to pay respects to the first Australians, and learn about their links to our ancient southern land.”

People who would like to attend the NAIDOC Week ceremony and lunch may RSVP to Council’s Aboriginal Liaison Officer on 03 9205 2838.

Updated : 9:14 AM, 6 July 2015

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