NAIDOC Week 2019 celebrated in Wellington's Cameron Park

Celebrating culture: Maliyah Peckham and Allirah West at the NAIDOC celebrations at Cameron Park on Saturday. Photo: Taylor Jurd.
Celebrating culture: Maliyah Peckham and Allirah West at the NAIDOC celebrations at Cameron Park on Saturday. Photo: Taylor Jurd.

The Wellington community came together on Saturday to celebrate NAIDOC Week.

This was the first time that a NAIDOC celebration was held in Cameron Park and organisers are hoping it can be a yearly event and become bigger and better each time, with a NAIDOC ball in the works for 2020.

Various local services came out to show their support on the day including various emergency services, Barnardos and The Walkabout Barber.

"I'm really looking forward to next year, this is the beginning of it all," organiser Anita Johnson from the Wellington Aboriginal Land Council said.

The 2019 NAIDOC Week theme 'Voice, Treaty, Truth: Let's work together for a shared future'.

The theme acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have always wanted an enhanced role in decision-making in Australia's democracy.

Ms Johnson said 'Voice, Treaty, Truth' was a very important important theme.

Corey Sutherland from the Walkabout Barber with Brandon Lemon. Photo: Taylor Jurd.

Corey Sutherland from the Walkabout Barber with Brandon Lemon. Photo: Taylor Jurd.

"We need a voice, we need somebody who knows our understanding of our Aboriginal culture and the hurt that's been done over the years," she said.

"But what we need to be able to do from that is to actually move forward and show people that we can progress and we need to bring back culture to our children because our children have lost that for so many years and with the inter-generational trauma that followed each generation there is a lot of negativity.

"We need to focus on that and help our people move forward and look towards a better future, especially with the knowledge of our culture."

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Australia is one of the few countries around the world which still does not have a treaty or treaties or some other kind of formal acknowledgement or arrangement with its Indigenous minorities.

"As much as a treaty would be nice I don't think that it will ever happen. I would like to see it but I don't think it will occur," Ms Johnson said.

"But we can work towards that... it's all about taking dolly steps and moving forward for the better of the people."

Ms Johnson thanked all those who came out to celebrate NAIDOC in Wellington, especially considering it was a cold winter's day.