NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and recognise their contributions to the country. This year’s theme is “Songlines: The living narrative of our nation”.


Maar Koodjal Cultural Dancers

This week nudge attended the NAIDOC Family Day, including the Deadly Jobs Expo, held at Ashfield Reserve in Bassendean, one of the biggest NAIDOC celebrations in Perth. One of the presentations was the Maar Koodjal Cultural Dancers who asked the audience to participate in some cultural dancing of the Emu and Kangaroo. The Mayor of Bassendean got involved along with some children from the audience, mums and other local business leaders. There was lots of local involvement with community members participating in the dances and clapping along to the beat. The mayor then opened the day and talked about community and how significant and important NAIDOC Family Day is to the town of Bassendean. It was a wonderful event to be a part of and was great to see so many community members in attendance.

Wadumbah Dance Group

We also attended the NAIDOC Week Main Roads morning tea, which included a Welcome to Country from Matthew McGuire, who played the boomerangs and explained what daydreaming and storylines mean to Aboriginal culture and how they are used to describe the creation of earth, people and animals by ancestral spiritual beings. Main Roads Acting Managing Director, Peter Woronzow, talked about the huge role Aboriginal people have played in building Australia’s road network and the efforts Main Roads are doing to increase the number of Aboriginal people in their workforce, as well as nudge’s contribution and role to achieve these goals. We then enjoyed traditional dancing by Wadumbah Dance Group. They performed the dances of warriors and fishing with spears, playing and celebrating the catch of fish with the audience. It was a great opportunity to learn about how the first Australians lived and understood their surroundings.

We felt honoured to share the traditions of the oldest continuous living culture on the planet and see how Aboriginal communities keep their cultural heritage alive by passing their knowledge through oral tradition (songs, story, rituals and performances) from generation to generation.

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