Celebrating NAIDOC Week 2020 in the Byron Shire

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NAIDOC Week 2020 celebrations will be held from 8 November to 15 November this year under the theme ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’.

Residents of the Byron Shire are asked to use the week-long celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People to acknowledge their connection to country.

 Rob Appo, Council’s Project Officer Social and Cultural Planning, said the theme ‘Always Was,  Always Will Be’ is due recognition that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for more than 65,000 years.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were managing the landscape, caring for country and maintaining cultural practices long before European settlement and NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for everyone in our community, and across Australia, to recognise this,” Mr Appo said.

NAIDOC Week is traditionally held in July but celebrations were postponed this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to the public health orders, activities next week will be on a smaller scale. 

A flag-raising ceremony will be held on Monday 9 November with representatives from the Arakwal people and the Tweed Byron Aboriginal Land Council, along with Byron Shire Councillors and the Executive Team.

“Byron Shire Council has also extended an invitation to surrounding Local Government Areas to host similar events as a symbolic acknowledgment of NAIDOC Week in the Northern Rivers,” Mr Appo said.

“While it is unfortunate we will not be able to have community representatives at the flag-raising event, as we normally do, I hope people take the time to mark NAIDOC Week in their own way,” he said.

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