At MEP we strongly support NAIDOC celebrations and enjoy being involved in community events over this period. This year, 2016 the theme was Songlines: ‘the living narrative of our nation’.
Each region received a small budget to work collaboratively with community and community stakeholders to acknowledge and celebrate NAIDOC. Yirrkala, Homelands and Gunyangara, Nhulunbuy regions worked together with Miwatj Health, East Arnhem Regional Council and Buku Larrnggay Mulka Aboriginal Art Centre on a variety of fun, interactive activities. Yirrkala community were the recipients of a healthy bbq, face painting, drum beat, a jumping castle, volleyball and sweet local sounds played in the background. There was a great turn out from community, supporting services and visitors from Nhulunbuy and those visiting Arnhem Land.
The Nhulunbuy office teamed up with Anglicare, the Department of Human Services (DHS) and Nhulunbuy Corporation, it was a low key bbq, where clients were brought to the rear of DHS to enjoy a variety of meats and salad, fruit platters and cakes and sweets, NAIDOC wrist bands were also handed out.
Gapuwiyak celebrations were delayed due to a community request. However they kicked off their celebrations with a jumping castle, fairy floss machine, face painting and giant water slide. The men had a spear throwing competition while the ladies and children had an egg and spoon race, three legged race and played musical chairs. The community got involved in tug of war competitions, with families, work teams and groups of friends competing for the win. The day ended with an awards ceremony, recognising the hard work and contributions of various community members. The BBQ was fired up and everyone was sent home with wonderful food to share.