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Marist180 celebrates NAIDOC 2023: For Our Elders

Wednesday July 19 saw a rich, community focussed and welcoming coming together to honour and celebrate the invaluable and ongoing contribution of our First Nations peoples to Australia and its society.

A large and diverse crowd gathered at Shalvey PCYC to celebrate 'For Our Elders'. This year’s celebration paid homage to the ongoing resilience and cultural richness passed down by our respected elders. In particular, we recognised two significant local Elders-Uncle Dennis Dunn and Aunty Bev Briar-acknowledging their strong and ongoing commitment to their community, and their role(s) in shaping First Nations local identity and to helping build a stronger future. 

The PCYC was filled with energy and life! The gathering included a Smoking Ceremony, Dance and Music performance. There were a large number of stalls and exhibitors present-government and other-many of whom actively partner with Marist180. Food, drinks, giveaways, painting, reptiles, speakers offering words of encouragement, and stories told. New acquaintances made, older acquaintances renewed. Marist180 staff and clients were present in large numbers, offering their support, learning from and enjoying the celebration.

I especially want to acknowledge and thank the members of the Marist180 RAP Committee-Tony M, Kayla B, Ally F, Angela B, Dee M, Nakiya S-as well as Matt N, for their generous and above and beyond efforts in planning, creating and delivering a fantastic NAIDOC celebration. There were many others on the day who contributed their time and talents-at the risk of missing someone, they included Peter C, Arthur F, Alajah Wr, Adriana G, Wayne N, and members of the SHS team. Great to see and be supported by two members of our Marist180 Board: Mike Munro, and Br Anthony Robinson, fms.

A big shout out to members of the extended Marist family: Emily Mattick (teacher), and 5 Year 11 students, from Marist College, Eastwood, who did an excellent job as volunteers on the BBQ... very much appreciated.

A great NAIDOC 2023 celebration-one to savour, remember and build on.


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