Hundreds of people used their voices today to call for change at the Awabakal Newcastle NAIDOC Community Day.
People gathered at Civic Park for a Flag Raising Ceremony before marching together and chanting their way to Foreshore Park.
Waiting by the Tram Sheds for the arriving crowds was an array of activities, stalls, rides, and entertainment.
Following along with this year’s NAIDOC Week theme – Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! – the event was an opportunity to come together to call for systemic change. Whether it’s seeking proper environmental, cultural and heritage protections, constitutional change, a comprehensive process of truth-telling, working towards treaties, or calling out racism.
Youth Mission and Outreach Support Officer for our Diocese, Mary-Anne De Luca attended the event and said it was incredible to see the community rally around the event.
“It is so good to see the community out here using our voices and joining our Indigenous brothers and sisters for this important cause,” she said.
“I think it is very significant [for our Church], it comes back to our faith – when Pope John Paul II came to Alice Springs in the ‘80s he said that our church will not fully be the church it ought to be until we recognise and accept the gifts of our Aboriginal people.
For Mary-Anne and the other Diocesan staff members at the event, it was great to see children participating in activities hosted at the Diocese’s stall.
There was an endless stream of young people painting boomerangs, making sand art or playing with play doh.
The event was a great success, and the Diocese looks forward to launching its own Reconciliation Action Plan in the coming months and continuing to be involved in NAIDOC Week activities next year.