Great Southern unites for NAIDOC Week family celebration at Albany Noongar centre

Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
Email Sarah Makse
Albany artist Tom Dimer with Ava Dean, 7, her cousin Sienna Dean, 8, and Cindy Dean.
Camera IconAlbany artist Tom Dimer with Ava Dean, 7, her cousin Sienna Dean, 8, and Cindy Dean. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

Great Southern families came together to celebrate culture and country on Wednesday for a day of NAIDOC Week activities at the Albany Noongar Centre.

Albany Aboriginal Corporation and several community services played host for the day with face painting, dancing, damper making and Noongar storytime for the kids.

AAC chairman Lester Coyne said the day was about bringing Aboriginal families from Albany and surrounding towns together to share culture and have fun, which the organisation hoped to continue through the year.

Cheryle James-Wallace, Rebecca Khan, Darcy Ward and Samantha Williams.
Camera IconCheryle James-Wallace, Rebecca Khan, Darcy Ward and Samantha Williams. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

“We can help one another, and Albany has a lot of assets that we are more than happy to share,” he said.

“We want everyone to benefit from it and we have our kids to look after and to look out for. We were gluing the community together and, most importantly, bringing the kids into it too.”

Mr Coyne said this year’s theme of Heal Country was particularly timely.

“Country does and always has had a healing effect on Aboriginal people and we have suffered over the decades a loss of a lot of land,” he said.

Albany artist Tom Dimer with Sienna Dean, 8, and her cousin Ava Dean, 7.
Camera IconAlbany artist Tom Dimer with Sienna Dean, 8, and her cousin Ava Dean, 7. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

“So we are learning to live and devise other ways of healing, but we still and always will revert back to our land.

“Getting together today was a contribution to come together so we can heal and we can enjoy our land.

“With the Noongar native title, there is a lot more land being granted back to us, so we will finally get the chance to walk, talk, play, gather food and practice our culture on land like we used to.”

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails