Meeting of cultures in Casino
By WILL JACKSON
MARCHING through the streets of Casino yesterday, Michelle Torrens was filled with pride for her mob.
She said the NAIDOC Week event demonstrated the growing sense of unity within the area's indigenous community.
Ms Torrens, the Bundjalung nation's language and culture keeper, was one of the organisers.
She said it was appropriate the event took place in Casino because it is the local Gullybal people's traditional meeting place.
"It gives us strength standing together like that. It was a really proud moment," she said.
"We also invited lots of non-indigenous people, and it was great to see so many here.
"Having the Richmond Valley Council mayor Charlie Cox here to speak was especially good, because if someone who's so important comes we know it will filter out to the wider community."
More than 100 people walked from the Richmond Valley Council Chambers to the Casino RSM Club, where the Casino Interagency Network Directory 2005 was launched.
The booklet brings together the contact details of organisations relevant to Casino's indigenous people for easy reference.
It was compiled by Richmond Valley Council's Aboriginal community development officer, Tracey Duval.
Seven of the organisations in the booklet also signed a docu- ment committing the groups to co-operation and communication.
"We reignited the interagency to address social issues affecting the community," Ms Duval said.
"The document brings them together, enhancing the strength of the group and the connections between its members.
"It was great to see the council backing something like this for the first time.
"It ties in nicely with the theme this year for NAIDOC Week, which is 'We're not there yet, but we're not where we were'. It shows things are getting better."