NAIDOC Week celebrations
Thursday, 14 July 2011
ECU Pro Chancellor, Mr Steve Abbott; Head of Kurongkurl Katitjin Professor Colleen Hayward; Dr Noel Nannup from Kurongkurl Katitjin; and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Arshad Omari at the art gallery opening
At the beginning of July, to coincide with NAIDOC Week, the ECU community joined together to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Although I was in the USA during the week, I made a point of wearing my 2010 NAIDOC Week t-shirt for my daily exercise regime to show my support (at least to myself) of the week-long event.
This year the NAIDOC Week theme was Change – the next step is ours, which encourages each person to take responsibility for our future and plan actions in order to make change happen.
On Friday, 1 July, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, (Academic) Professor Arshad Omari was delighted to host over 60 members of the community and esteemed guests at the evening opening of the ‘Celebration of Indigenous Art Exhibition’, held at the Kurongkurl Katitjin Art Gallery.
The exhibition saw the unveiling of a six-canvas piece created by renowned Indigenous artist Sandra Hill, which was commissioned by our University for NAIDOC Week.
This year ECU has also been fortunate to acquire, through a generous donor, a set of prints reflecting the six Nyoongar seasons by artist Shane Pickett, which was also unveiled at the event.
It was pleasing to hear from my colleagues that flag-raising ceremonies, which were held at both city campuses, were well attended, with staff making a conscious effort to take the time out of their morning and pay respect to our Indigenous community.
The week concluded with an Indigenous Film Night at the Mount Lawley Campus, which saw members of the ECU community gather out the front of Kurongkurl Katitjin for a special screening of Indigenous film Three Boys Dreaming.
I thank members of the executive team, Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Finlay-Jones; Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Engagement, Equity and Indigenous), Professor Brenda Cherednichenko; and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Arshad Omari for their support throughout the week in my absence, and the Corporate Events team and Kurongkurl Katitjin for their efforts in organising this year’s celebrations.
It was pleasing to hear from our colleagues that ECU staff once again showed their support during the week-long celebrations, and I thank everyone for their attendance and participation.
Professor Kerry O. Cox