Geraldton medical service hosts community barbecue to celebrate start of NAIDOC Week

Phoebe PinMidwest Times
Isaac Greham, 8, Lani Merritt, 11, and Keona Merritt, 7 at the GRAMS NAIDOC barbecue
Camera IconIsaac Greham, 8, Lani Merritt, 11, and Keona Merritt, 7 at the GRAMS NAIDOC barbecue Credit: Picture: Phoebe Pin

Geraldton’s NAIDOC Week activities started on Monday as all good celebrations should — with plenty of tasty food, live music and great company.

Hosted by the Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service, the community barbecue was the first of many events planned across the Mid West to mark the national campaign.

The rain held off just long enough for families to enjoy a slice of cake, a bowl of kangaroo stew and a sausage sizzle straight off the grill.

GRAMS chief executive Deborah Woods said this year’s NAIDOC theme of Heal Country resonated powerfully.

“Out of all the themes, I think this one really has a deep impact on me,” she said.

“Our people use our country to do a lot of things — for healing, connecting us to our ancestors, connecting us to who we are and what we do and showing the importance of maintaining culture.”

“The earth and land is our mother and we have a responsibility to look after it. If we don’t, then what will happen to our land is it will get sick.”

Ms Woods said for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people the idea of self-care extended to looking after the environment.

“When you go through something like the world is going through now with COVID, it makes you realise how important it is to look after yourself and for Aboriginal people, the land is such an integral part of who we are,” she said.

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