NAIDOC Week in Bendigo launches with flag and smoking ceremonies

“Because of her, we can.”

This year’s NAIDOC theme acknowledges the important work women do in Indigenous communities.

Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation chair Trent Nelson said women’s contributions keep communities strong.

“That motto and theme is really important. It's important in what we do and it’s important to acknowledge the women in our community. 

“Our aunts, our sisters, our mothers and our cousins hold a strong stature in our community. Without the women in our community we wouldn't have a community. 

Mr Nelson said the NAIDOC Week theme also applies to communities across the world.

“It’s a message that goes across nations. It’s not just to Aboriginal people, it's for non-Aboriginal people as well,” he said.

Bendigo NAIDOC Week committee chair Aunty Lyn Warren said it was a magical theme.

“There are so many strong women and we need to stay that way for the younger generation,” she said.

Attendance at NAIDOC Week launch encouraging

INVOLVEMENT in Bendigo’s NAIDOC Week continues to grow.

Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation chair Trent Nelson was impressed by the number of people and organisations that attended the launch of NAIDOC Week on Monday.

“I’m going into my fourth year doing this and (we’re seeing) more and more people turning up,” he said.

“We can always have more improvement and more involvement but I'm really proud of the movement, what's happening and where we're going with NAIDOC Week in Bendigo. We get more and more people each year.”

It was standing room only inside Bendigo Town Hall for the launch of NAIDOC Week on Monday and Mr Nelson said he hoped the large attendance would flow on to other NAIDOC Week events.

NAIDOC Week celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“Each year we're finding more and more people go to events and I suppose being able to share that knowledge and understanding and celebrate Naidoc Week is really important,” Mr Nelson said.

“I'm humbled to see the amount of support we have in Bendigo and to be working with the City of Greater Bendigo. It inspires me moving forward.”

Bendigo NAIDOC Committee chair Aunty Lyn Warren said the week continues to get bigger.

“It's one for all the communities to come together. The celebration is fantastic,” she said.

Aunty Lyn said more and more people and organisations were eager to be a part of the week.

“You look at all the events and think ‘wow, where did all these people come from?’,” she said. 

“Once we only did this for a week but now celebrations started last week and we are seeing the amount of people that want to be involved is fantastic.”