CULTURE: Albert Park Public School students Jakequan Roberts Welsh, Bruce Kelly, Jerahkye Williams, Treshaun Roberts, and Clinton Roberts give a performance at NAIDOC week festivities at the Lismore Showground.
CULTURE: Albert Park Public School students Jakequan Roberts Welsh, Bruce Kelly, Jerahkye Williams, Treshaun Roberts, and Clinton Roberts give a performance at NAIDOC week festivities at the Lismore Showground. Marc Stapelberg

Modern corroboree in Lismore for NAIDOC celebrations

THE Lismore showground has long been a sacred meeting place for Aboriginal people.

So it's fitting the annual Lismore NAIDOC celebrations are held there, carrying on the long held tradition.

Aboriginal elder Aunty Thelma James said in the past Aborigines were restricted in where and when they could travel.

"But the Show was a time where people were allowed off sites to come to the Show," she said.

Aunty Thelma described the Lismore NAIDOC celebrations as a "modern day corroboree" that school children looked forward to.

"They're so excited," she said. "They embrace it and they thoroughly look forward to it.

"The whole thing about NAIDOC is to develop your own cultural awareness and give everyone the opportunity to develop skills."

The historical significance of the land fits particularly well with this year's NAIDOC theme, 'we stand on sacred ground'.

Organiser and Lismore City Council Aboriginal engagement and partnering officer Jodi Sampson said more than 1000 school children were being bussed in for the NAIDOC event as well as 12 Aboriginal businesses.

"What we're doing is we're showcasing those Aboriginal businesses including security, merchandise; we've got other people here who have a service here or program that they offer.

"We've also got 68 stall holders who have services or programs from non-government organisations, government, legal, health.

"The theme this year is around learning, respecting and celebrating and I think today we've met that brief quite well."

NAIDOC Week, running from July 5 to 12 this year, is about celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.



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