Exhibition of First Nations dilly bags along wall in gallery


NAIDOC Week 2020: ‘Always Was, Always Will Be'

Published: 06 Nov 2020 3:22pm

Wagga Wagga City Council is inviting the community to head online and join in celebrating NAIDOC Week 2020.

With support and agreement sought from senior Wiradjuri Elders, Council has collaborated with Wiradjuri and First Nations storytellers to create a series of short films, to be launched on its website on Sunday, 8 November.

The videos reflect this year’s NAIDOC Week theme, ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’.

Wiradjuri Elder Aunty Isabel Reid said NAIDOC began as a day of observance and commemoration.

“Today it provides the opportunity for all communities to come together and celebrate the valuable contributions, resilience and strength of our Wiradjuri and other First Nations People,” Aunty Isabel said.

“Together we celebrate the continuous contributions from Wiradjuri and First Nations Peoples.

“‘Always Was, Always Will Be’ recognises that Wiradjuri and First Nations Peoples are the original custodians of the land and have occupied and cared for this continent for over thousands of generations.

“It encourages us to relearn our Australian history, acknowledging that our nation’s story began with the first footprints on this continent belonging to the First Nations People.”

The short films, NAIDOC Week Launch, Connections to Country, Connections to Culture, and Faces of NAIDOC Week, capture a Welcome to Country, First Nations dance performance, as well as traditional stories shared by proud Wiradjuri Elders, Wiradjuri knowledge holders and First Nations People.

Among those featured are Uncle James Ingram, Peter Ingram, Luke Wighton, Wes Boney, Aunty Isabel Reid, Aunty Cheryl Penrith, Aunty Mary Atkinson and Jackie Ingram.

Two First Nations women and a man standing in front of art at gallery
NAIDOC ONLINE: Finalising preparations for NAIDOC Week online celebrations are (from left) Council Aboriginal Business Support Officer Madison Fisher, Wiradjuri Elder Aunty Cheryl Penrith and Council Project Officer Mark Dodd.

Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga Councillor Greg Conkey OAM said Council was committed to working with Wiradjuri and First Nations communities towards a better and brighter future.

“NAIDOC Week 2020 invites all Australians to embrace the true history of this country – a history which dates back thousands of generations,” Cr Conkey said.

“It’s about seeing, hearing and learning the First Nations’ 65,000-plus years of history of this country, one which is Australia’s history.

“I am proud to mark the beginning of Council’s online NAIDOC Week celebrations and I hope you enjoy the series of locally produced videos released throughout the week.”

The video clips can be viewed on the NAIDOC Week page.