NAIDOC week in Mareeba was opened last Monday with the raising of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait flags at ANZAC Park.
A large number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders made their way from the Mulungu Medical centre down to the ANZAC park for the official opening ceremony.
The ceremony included welcome to country, a speech from Mayor Tom Gilmore and local Mareeba resident Fallon Patolo. Mrs Patolo was adamant about the continuation of traditions within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“One thing I wish to do for my people, for my mob, is to continue with oral traditions and oral histories,” she said.
“That is how we are going to instil that strong cultural identity in future generations.
“I want to thank the community for showing up today, we are one mob, and we are representing our own tribes and clan groups today.”
Mayor Gilmore was expressing his ideas for a cooperative future.
“It is my belief that the future is where all of our focus of energy should be,” he said.
“Where we talk about the prospect of appropriate housing, appropriate health, appropriate education and opportunity for all of our community.
“Not just our indigenous community alone but for all of our community.”
Mayor Gilmore wanted others to walk with “soft treads” for the future.
“May I suggest that we all walk with very soft treads on this land,” he said.
“So that it’s not only good for now but for future generations.”
The NAIDOC week celebrations included a story time at the Mulungu Family and Child Centre, a Family Fun day at the Mareeba Turf Club and damper making hosted by the PCYC last Tuesday night