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ECU celebrates NAIDOC Week

Wednesday, 08 July 2009

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A number of events have been held at ECU this week to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

More than 130 guests attended the official opening of the 'Celebration of Indigenous Art' exhibition on Friday, 3 July at the Kurongkurl Katitjin Art Gallery in Mount Lawley.

The evening included a ceremonial burning of three Balga trees that have recently been relocated to the Kurongkurl Katitjin entrance.

The Balga trees are of great significance to Indigenous Australians, used in bush tucker, for making tools and for creating artwork. A selection of Indigenous art from the ECU collection will be on display at the Kurongkurl Katitjin Art Gallery until the end of this week.

Members of the ECU community gathered on Monday, 6 July for flag raising ceremonies at both the Mount Lawley and Joondalup campuses.

The Aboriginal, Torres Strait Island, Australian and Western Australian flags will be remain flying for the remainder of NAIDOC Week.

On Tuesday, 7 July an Indigenous film night was held at the Mount Lawley Campus offering a unique opportunity to see a range of short films under the NAIDOC Week theme Honouring our Elders, Nurturing our Youth.

More than 100 guests attended, enjoying damper and other traditional 'bush tucker' before the screening of the films.

As part of the national NAIDOC Week celebrations, Head of Kurongkurl Katitjin Professor Colleen Hayward was invited to announce this year's NAIDOC Person of the Year Award.

This award is a prestigious national accolade where the Indigenous Australian community recognises one of its own for their long-term commitment and work on behalf of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Professor Hayward was awarded the NAIDOC Person of the Year Award in 2008 and was this year honoured with the 'Hall of Fame' Award in recognition of her long-standing work and commitment to Aboriginal education in Western Australia.

This week Professor Hayward has also met with the WA Premier, the Honourable Colin Barnett to discuss the challenges facing Indigenous Australians and the responses needed to address those challenges.

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