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Perth shines as National NAIDOC Focus City by Perth Naidoc National NAIDOC Week 2013 (7 – 14 July) is set to be a big week of celebrations in Perth, this year’s national NAIDOC Focus City. As Focus City the prestigious National NAIDOC Ball and Awards Ceremony will occur in Perth on Friday 12 July at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre. Tickets to the event are hotly sought after, having sold out in record time. In addition to the numerous events that have already occurred in the lead up to NAIDOC Week in Perth, including at many schools, during NAIDOC Week 2013 in Perth there will be at least 20 individual events and five weeklong events, as outlined on the 2013 NAIDOC Perth Program of Events, released today. The variety and professionalism of the events shows the depth of this growing, but also very old festival. NAIDOC stands for National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee. The Committee has been operating since 1957, though its roots can be traced to the 26 January 1938 Day of Mourning Protest and Conference in Sydney. Today, it is a national celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures and communities. This year the National NAIDOC Theme is ‘We Value the Vision: Yirrkala Bark Petitions 1963’, which celebrate 50 years since bark petitions from the Yolgnu people were delivered to Federal Parliament, in protest of the granting of mining rights, and seeking land rights. The theme will be honoured at the National

National Naidoc Ball co-host Ernie Dingo. Image supplied

Ball and Awards Ceremony and at NAIDOC events throughout the nation over the coming week. NAIDOC Week officially kicked off in Perth yesterday at the SmokeFree WA 2013 NAIDOC Perth Opening Ceremony between 12pm and 4pm at Wellington Square, East Perth. This free community event offers music, dance, children’s activities, community stalls, traditional basket weaving, food, non-alcoholic drinks and a free sausage sizzle. In honour of the Yirrkala Bark Petitions, the Event will commence with a traditional corroboree performed by dance groups Wadumbah, Kwarbah

Djookian, Middar Dancers, Moorditji Dancers and the Loza Torres Strait Islander Dancers. This is followed by live music from Australian music legend Shane Howard (Goanna), country music singer / songwriter Theona Councillor, hip-hop artist Bryte, the Tutju-Puntu Autumn Centre Women’s Choir and contemporary dancing from Kellerberrin dance acts Lil Sparks & Static Crew. Today Princess Margaret Hospital in Subiaco will host a Flag Raising Ceremony and morning tea between 9am and 11am. A few week long events also commence on the Monday, including an art

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National Naidoc Ball co-host Narelda Jacobs. Image supplied

exhibition showcasing the Northern Territory between 9am and 4pm, and a midday screening of the film ‘Yidaki: The Sound of the Didgeridoo’ (Monday to Friday), at Kurongkurl Katijin, at ECU’s Mt Lawley Campus; The State Library has a NAIDOC event for kids and parents / carers between 10.30am and 11.30am daily between 8 and 12 July on the Mezzanine level of the library, and a participatory exhibition about Matagarup (Heirisson Island) between 10am and 2pm between 7 – 14 July at The Nook; and Christ Church Grammar will host an art exhibition by Indigenous students, between 3 July – 30 August. On Tuesday 9 July, there are several events to choose from including a Notre Dame University Event (9.30am – 11.30am), a Seniors Event in Cockburn (10am – 2.30pm), a Derbarl Yerrigan Event at Midland Oval (10am – 2pm), the Noongar Mia Mia launch of their new office in Maylands (11am – 1pm), the Jacaranda NAIDOC Community Day in Redcliffe (11am – 3pm), and an event by the

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National Drug Research Institute in Shenton Park (12pm – 2pm). To top the day off, Perth’s Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company will present ‘Yirra Yarnz’ at 7pm at the Blue Room in Northbridge. The performances, a collection of monologues from emerging West Australian Aboriginal playwrights will run between 9 – 13 July. On Wednesday 10 July, the Mirrabooka NAIDOC Group will present the Mirrabooka NAIDOC Day Event between 10am and 2pm at the Herb Graham Recreation Centre. Thursday 11 July will see the 10th anniversary of the popular Derbarl Yerrigan and Town of Bassendean NAIDOC Family Day at Ashfield Reserve, starting with a reconciliation walk at 9.30am and finishing at 3pm. There will also be a NAIDOC basketball carnival on the Thursday at Perry Lakes Stadium in Floreat. On Friday 12 July, those lucky enough to have secured tickets will attend the black tie National Ball and Awards Ceremony between 6pm and midnight at the Perth

Convention and Exhibition Centre. This event attracts Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders from all over the country. Hosted by MCs Narelda Jacobs and Ernie Dingo, the night will include performances by Mary G, the Last Kinection, Christine Anu, Oz Island and Urban Youth Crew and as well as the presentation of the 2013 National NAIDOC Awards. On Saturday 13 July the celebrations continue with the official NAIDOC Week After Party at the Bakery, Northbridge from 8pm, featuring music from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander DJs and artists. The week ends on Sunday 14 July with a City of Vincent gathering between 12pm and 3pm at Weld Square (corner of Beaufort and Newcastle Streets in Perth), and the annual NAIDOC Netball Carnival in Langford on Wednesday 17 July. With so much on offer and Perth as the National NAIDOC Focus City, everyone is encouraged to attend events and join the celebrations! NAIDOC Perth Chairperson Glenda Kickett is delighted to have Perth as the National NAIDOC Focus City for 2013 and to release the 2013 Program. “The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community of Perth have excelled in celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures and communities during NAIDOC Week this year and in past years, and its an honour to be able to showcase these events to the rest of the nation with Perth as the 2013 National Focus City. We encourage all people in Perth, including non-Aboriginal people to attend as many events as possible to support NAIDOC and the positive promotion and inclusion of our peoples, cultures and communities in Perth and in the wider Australian community,” said Ms Kickett.


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