Nearly 800 children came through the door at NAIDOC Children’s Day on Wednesday.
It was a “sensational day” according to John Bonas, co-manager of Communities for Children. With the Bendigo and District Aboriginal Cooperative, Communities for Children organised the day.
He was excited see kids participating in activities, and learning about Indigenous cultures.
Read more: NAIDOC Week launches with impressive crowds
“It’s important for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children alike to be learning about our Indigenous history and cultures, and also the living cultures that are in our community,” he said.
“It’s part of everyone’s history, it’s part of our history, it’s part of who we are as a nation.”
Native animals, facepainting, a photo-booth, craft and claymaking were among the activities kids enjoyed.
Dancers from Indigenous Hip Hop Projects got the crowd up and dancing.
For Laila, aged 9, of Bendigo, the day was a fun chance to enjoy some creative craft.
She had “lots of fun”, and particularly enjoyed the dancing.
Aboriginal early years worker with Bendigo and District Aboriginal Cooperative Stacey Kinsmore was part of the team organising the event.
The day had gone well from her perspective, with happy kids and happy parents.
Ms Kinsmore was also delighted to see the community come together to celebrate NAIDOC Week, and meet organisations in the area.
“It’s fantastic, it’s been good,” she said.
“Everyone seems to be happy, the parents happy, everyone’s had a feed, and everyone’s done all the activities.
“I’m really happy with how all the organisations come together and they all work together, it’s been really nice to see that today, everyone pitching in.”
The day was part of NAIDOC Week celebrations across Bendigo, which included a smoking ceremony, flag raising and welcome to country, several art exhibitions and dinner and awards.