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11 November 2020
The raising of the Aboriginal flag in Horsham earlier this week signified the community joining in nationwide week-long celebrations for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, cultures, achievements and history.
First Nations people’s identity as the oldest culture on earth is the focus of this year’s NAIDOC Week, themed ‘Always was, Always will be’.
Goolum-Goolum Aboriginal Co-operative collaborated with Horsham Regional Art Gallery to celebrate NAIDOC Week, with an annual indigenous art exhibition featuring in a vacant store on the corner of Firebrace Street and Roberts Avenue.
The exhibition finishes on Friday.
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NAIDOC Week festivities across Australia are occurring months after they would usually be celebrated in July.
But the global COVID-19 pandemic did not change the significance of the week.
Goolum Goolum community engagement worker Deanne King, who helped organise the art exhibition, said the week was an opportunity for all Australians to embrace, learn and celebrate indigenous culture.
“It’s a celebration for First Nations people as well as sharing a message with the wider community for them to learn about our culture and our history,” she said.
The first annual Horsham art exhibition was during NAIDOC Week in July 2019.
The exhibition attracted hundreds of visitors to witness and celebrate artwork from regional artists.
Ms King said although COVID-19 restrictions would prevent traditional dancing and large gatherings of people, it was crucial First Nations people could push forward with the art exhibition to celebrate the week.
“I think a lot of people would have been disappointed if NAIDOC Week was cancelled,” she said.
“We’re very proud Aboriginal people, so to be able to embrace us and our culture is something that is really important to us.
“We as a mob like to get together, to get out and see each other, that is how you learn from one another and stories from our elders get told.”
Ms King said the art exhibition presented a unique opportunity for indigenous artists to have their work on display.
“The art exhibition has been really great, especially for individual community members to be able to put their art on display,” she said.
“Art to a lot of people is very personal to them, it’s their story and their journey – so to get it out there is really important.”
– Dylan De Jong
The entire November 11, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!