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Celebrating NAIDOC Week at ECU

Thursday, 08 July 2010


ECU celebrated the history, culture and achievements of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people this week with a variety of free events and activities, to coincide with national NAIDOC Week celebrations, held from 4 -11 July 2010.

NAIDOC originally stood for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’. This committee was once responsible for organising national activities during NAIDOC Week, and its acronym has become the name of the week itself. This year’s theme ‘Unsung Heroes - Closing the Gap by Leading Their Way’ was featured throughout all of the events and recognises the part played by the quiet achievers in the Indigenous community, both now and in the past.

The week began with more than 50 people attending flag raising ceremonies at both the Joondalup and Mount Lawley campuses on Monday, 5 July.

At the Mount Lawley flag raising event, Kurongkurl Katitjin acknowledged the Unsung Heroes of the broader Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. The recipients, nominated by their own community, were presented with a Certificate of Acknowledgment, in recognition of their personal dedication, commitment and achievements.

On Tuesday, 6 July more than 100 people gathered at the Indigenous Film Night, held at the Mount Lawley Campus, showcasing a series of family friendly films, followed by locally made feature film Stone Bros.  Guests were also treated to sausages and a range of soups to help warm up on the cold night.

To coincide with NAIDOC week events, ECU opened the Kurongkurl Katitjin Art Gallery to showcase a selection of Indigenous art from the University’s collection, linked to the NAIDOC week theme.  

The collection, entitled Heroes, featured a newly acquired piece, by Indigenous artist, Christopher Pease, purchased through a special allocation of funds from the Vice-Chancellor. The piece, entitled Balga Tree 2010, was inspired by ways of seeing land and the different ways of looking at the natural world.

The Heroes exhibition was opened with a launch event on Friday, 2 July, which attracted more than 100 guests from the Western Australian Indigenous, art, education and business communities.

A highlight of the evening included the unveiling and blessing of the newly planted garden outside the Kurongkurl Katitjin Gallery. Featuring two Moodjar trees, also known as the Australian Christmas Tree, and other native plants, this garden represents one of the six Nyoongar seasons – Birak.

The week finished on Thursday, 8 July at the Joondalup Campus with a session of the popular Developing Cultural Competence workshop, which was attended by 20 members of the ECU community.

The workshop provided an insightful introduction for staff in working effectively with Indigenous people, both personally and within their role at ECU.


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