A traditional smoking ceremony and flag raising was held outside Uralla Shire Council Chambers yesterday in honour of NAIDOC Day, after COVID lockdown delayed original celebrations planned for July.
Aniwan Elders Aunty Pam Meehan and Uncle Les Townsend joined retiring Mayor Michael Pearce in opening the proceedings, with a smoking ceremony and didgeridoo playing by Kristian Sternbeck.
At the end of the ceremony, Mr Sternbeck gifted a boomerang to the people of the Uralla Shire.
"This boomerang, which my son and I made together - we call it number seven boomerang according to the shape - is to bring the people of Uralla Shire together," Mr Sternbeck said.
Mr Pearce and Uncle Les Townsend accepted the gift on behalf of the community.
Arrangements are being made for a plaque to be prepared to accompany the boomerang, before it will be placed on display.
A morning tea was enjoyed afterwards at the Community Centre.
"I'm honoured to be here today to celebrate NAIDOC week with you, as we have together, over the past 9 years," Mr Pearce told the gathering.
"I believe this will be one of the final events I will attend as Mayor - and it is a fitting place to end, given the significance of NAIDOC," he said.
"Assuming COVID restrictions continue to ease, Council is really excited to have a return to a full NAIDOC celebration next year and working with the Elders Social Group."
The theme of NAIDOC Week for 2021 is Healing Country.
Healing Country calls for Australians to move forward together by addressing historical injustices, to celebrate and empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and to recognise cultural knowledge and understanding of Country as part of Australia's national heritage.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.