Geraldton to celebrate NAIDOC Week theme “Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud”

Matthew PaddickGeraldton Guardian
Hundreds of drones will help tell local First Nations stories.
Camera IconHundreds of drones will help tell local First Nations stories. Credit: Duncan Wright/RegionalHUB

A drone lights show, an amazing race, a big breakfast and awards will be among Geraldton’s NAIDOC Week celebrations with this year’s theme Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud.

According to the national NAIDOC committee, the theme aimed to empower everyone to stand in solidarity for the voices that have been silenced.

The fire is representative of a connection to land, while representing the strength of Indigenous culture.

Meanwhile, “Blak, Loud and Proud” aims to encourage people to engage in meaningful dialogue about the history of Indigenous people, recognising their commitment to justice and equality.

Yamatji Naaguja woman Carol Martin said the week was an important one for the community.

“NAIDOC Week is about us sharing our culture collectively, and recognising those that are a part of our community,” she said.

“To me, it’s always been important, and I’ve always celebrated it and participated.”

Ms Martin continued, saying her culture is something she’s always been proud of.

“Being a proud Yamatji woman, I’ve never had a problem sharing my culture and my identity with anyone,” she said.

“I lived in the Kimberley for 40 years, and everybody knew about my heritage simply because I’ve always been proud of it.”

The Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Society (GRAMS) will host several events throughout NAIDOC Week, starting with the opening ceremony on Sunday, July 7 at the QEII community centre.

The ceremony will have local market stalls, food and live entertainment.

Throughout the week, there will be a variety of events, including cake-cutting, an amazing race, a big breakfast, and a ceremony for the Geraldton NAIDOC awards.

Another event set to capture people’s attention and imaginations will be First Lights — Winthu Wangga, a light show featuring 200 drones to tell local First Nations stories.

It will be visible on the Geraldton Foreshore on Saturday, July 13, with activities from 4.30pm before the show begins at 7pm.

The City of Greater Geraldton will host an activity day on Tuesday, July 9 at Rocks Laneway, where activities are free.

More information can be found on the GRAMS Facebook page.

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

Sign up for our emails