Souths Cares hosted its’ annual NAIDOC Festival this week, with a huge crowd of over 2,000 guests attending Heffron Park on Wednesday to celebrate Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and achievements.
This year’s NAIDOC theme is ‘For our Elders’, which provides a wonderful opportunity to pay tribute to elders who have been, and continue to be leaders, cultural knowledge holders, advocates, teachers, nurturers and the foundations of families and communities throughout Australia.
Formal proceedings commenced with a beautiful Welcome to Country from Aunty Barb Simms who is a proud Bidjigal and Gweagal elder, followed by a Smoking Ceremony and Dance Performance by Eric Brown. South Sydney Rabbitohs CEO Blake Solly and Randwick City Council Mayor Dylan Parker then shared a few words, discussing the importance of NAIDOC week for the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Randwick City Council.
The event showcased a host talented musicians and dancers, with a Didgeridoo Performance by Brock Tutt, the Glen for Men Dance Group, Thikabilla Vibrations and Brolga Dance Academy performing throughout the afternoon.
There was also plenty of activities for children and families throughout the day, with shell painting, weaving workshops, art workshops, face painting, airbursh tattoos, hair cuts, amusement rides, football clinics, a NSW Fire Truck and appearances from the Rabbitohs first grade squad.
Souths Cares were proud to host valued partners UGL, Sydney Civil, Transdev, Zoom, UNSW and Bodyfit as stallholders at the NAIDOC Festival.
Alisha Parker-Elrez, Souths Cares CEO explained the NAIDOC Festival was about giving back the community and celebrating our Elders.
It was great to be able to create a day and atmosphere once again which was solely about giving back to the community, whilst having the opportunity to celebrate the rich and enduring culture of our people. Whilst this year’s theme is ‘For our Elders’, I believe we should celebrate our Elders every day of the year – not just during NAIDOC week
The event was proudly supported by Randwick City Council, the National Indigenous Australian’s Agency and NSW Aboriginal Affairs.