Hayden bridges cultural divide
TODAY is the start of NAIDOC Week and you can help celebrate Aboriginal culture at many events across the Northern Rivers.
Kyogle teenager Hayden Doolan showed his support for the indigenous community when he marched in the town's Reconciliation Day a couple of weeks ago. It was also a march to recognise NAIDOC Week.
“We marched down the main street of Kyogle to celebrate the indigenous culture in our town,” the 14-year-old said.
“Racism in country towns like ours is not as bad as it used to be, but we still have a way to go.
“I stood out in the march for being white and I still heard comments asking why I was in the march, but we are all human so we should just be getting along.”
Hayden believes future generations will come to value cultural celebrations such as NAIDOC Week, and he is hopeful events such as these will help break down the barriers which create racism.
“We need to make a community between both races and not have race so defined,” he said.
“We are still fighting for this because seeing people for their race is the way it has been for years and some people are not willing to change that.
“But today's younger people are trying to bridge the gap between Aborigines and the wider community.
“I still think there will be race distinction in the next generation and, like one of the elders said, there is still a lot of reconciliation to come.”
Hayden's close friend, Tamika Olive, said the whole community should be involved in NAIDOC Week celebrations so that everyone could learn about the indigenous culture.