City celebrates NAIDOC Week 2016

Media Release 21 June 2016
The City of South Perth will celebrate NAIDOC Week 2016, which runs 3-10 July with a series of events to acknowledge the richness of Aboriginal history, culture and achievements.

All members of the community are invited to attend the City’s Flag Raising Ceremony at 10am Tuesday 5 July at the South Perth Community Hall, followed by a free morning tea for all attendees. The ceremony will honour the Aboriginal community in the City and the culture of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples throughout Australia. 

The City is pleased to be hosting, Dr Richard Walley OAM who will give a special presentation at the South Perth Library Function Room on the theme of this year’s NAIDOC Week, Songlines. Dr Walley is an artist of many disciplines: a musician, dancer, painter, writer, director, Indigenous activist and educator. He has spent over forty years educating Australia and the world on Nyoongar culture and identity through the arts, and is credited with performing the first contemporary Welcome to Country in Australia with television presenter Ernie Dingo in 1976.

As part of the week-long celebrations, children are encouraged to take part in NAIDOC Kids Crafts at the South Perth Library. The free workshops will explore the rich and vibrant Indigenous culture.

Mayor Sue Doherty acknowledged the vital importance of NAIDOC Week and the events taking place across the City.

“The City of South Perth is proud to support activities during NAIDOC Week. It is an important opportunity for all Australians to celebrate the rich history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” Mayor Doherty said.

“It also encourages non-Indigenous Australians to learn about, reflect upon and acknowledge the positive contributions of the Indigenous community in different facets of our society.”

NAIDOC stands for National Aboriginies and Islanders Day Observance Committee. Its origins can be traced to the emergence of Aboriginal groups in the 1920s which sought to increase awareness in the wider community of the status and treatment of Indigenous Australians.

This year’s NAIDOC Week celebrations explore Songlines. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the Dreamtime describes a time when the earth, people and animals were created by ancestral spiritual beings.

Dreaming tracks crisscross Australia and trace the journeys of ancestral spirits as they created the land, animals and lores. These dreaming tracks are sometimes called ‘Songlines’ as they record the travels of these ancestral spirits who 'sung' the land into life. 

These Songlines are recorded in traditional songs, stories, dance and art. They carry significant spiritual and cultural connection to knowledge, customs, ceremony and Lore of many Aboriginal nations and Torres Strait Islander language groups.

Songlines have been passed down for thousands of years and are central to the existence of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. They are imperative to the preservation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural practices.

Through learning more about Songlines and how they connect people to Country and the Country to people – we celebrate the rich history and diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures - the oldest continuing culture on the planet.

NAIDOC Kids Crafts
When: 9.30-11.30am, Monday 4 July and Thursday 7 July 2016
Where: South Perth Library, Cnr Sandgate St & South Tce, South Perth
Cost: Free, no bookings required.
Contact: 9474 0777 or 

NAIDOC Flag Raising Ceremony

When: 10am, Tuesday 5 July 2016
Where: Flag poles in front of the South Perth Community Hall, 
Cnr Sandgate St & South Tce, South Perth
Cost: Free, no bookings required.
Contact: 9474 0777 or 

Songlines with Dr Richard Walley OAM
When: 6.30-7.30pm, Wednesday 6 July 2016
Where: South Perth Library Function Room, 
Cnr Sandgate St and South Tce, South Perth
Cost: Free, bookings required.
Contact: 9474 0777 or

Media contact

For media enquiries, please contact the City’s Communications Officer.