Souths Cares hosted its’ annual NAIDOC Festival this week with a huge crowd of over 3,000 guests attending Heffron Park on Tuesday to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and achievements.

This year’s NAIDOC theme is ‘Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud’, which honours the enduring strength and vitality of First Nations culture.

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 by Uncle Dean Kelly accompanied by Cultural Dancers.

South Sydney Rabbitohs CEO Blake Solly then shared a few words, discussing the importance of NAIDOC week for the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Souths Cares. The event showcased a host of talented performers, with Uncle Mat Doyle, Tim Bishop, Depicting the Dream Time Co., Brolga Dance Academy and Millie Mills sharing culture whilst entertaining and engaging the crowd.

There was also plenty of activities for children and families throughout the day, with cultural activities such as shell painting, weaving workshops, art workshops, sharing of Aboriginal artefacts, face painting, airbursh tattoos, hair braiding, amusement rides, football clinics and appearances from the Rabbitohs first grade squad.

Alisha Parker-Elrez, Souths Cares CEO explained the NAIDOC Festival was about giving back the community and sharing culture.

Alisha Parker-Elrez, Souths Cares CEO

This year’s NAIDOC Festival was our biggest event yet and despite the weather we had over 3,000 people attend throughout the day. This year’s theme is ‘Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud’ and I would like to think that Souths Cares supports our people to do this day in and day out, through our transformational programs.

The event was proudly supported by Randwick City Council and the National Indigenous Australian’s Agency.

A special mention to Indigenous Meat Company, Coles and Oz Harvest for supporting some of the catering and First Nations Response who assisted with the Elder’s Tent.

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