NAIDOC Week off – to a flying start

Libby Bingham, Advocate – p.11 – 5 July 2011

ABORIGINAL and Torres Strait Islander flags have been raised outside Tiagarra at the Bluff and the Burnie City Council to mark the start of NAIDOC Week.
As a special gesture to celebrate Indigenous culture the Tiagarra Museum in Devonport opened its doors free to the public yesterday. NAIDOC means National Aboriginal and Island Day Observance Committee.
Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre state secretary Trudy Maluga said ”it is a celebration of the Aboriginal people’s resilience against the odds, highlighting the living culture and history, and how our past shapes our identity”.
Aboriginal elders in Devonport invited Mayor Lynn Laycock to speak at the Tiagarra flag raising attended by students from Reece High, Devonport Primary, Nixon Street Primary, Our Lady of Lourdes, Miandetta Primary and Hillcrest Primary.
Ald Laycock said it was important to highlight the history, culture and achievements of Australia’s indigenous people past and present. The mayor said thankfully there had been a shift in our knowledge and understanding but she said we still had a distance to travel. The TAC said the importance of knowing one’s past is the theme of this year’s NAIDOC week celebrations.
TAC called for open access to Aboriginal land and the establishment of a cultural fund to buy items of Aboriginal heritage still in private collections.