NAIDOC celebrations come to Clare

Clare Showgounds will come alive with music, art, dance, cooking and cultural ceremonies on Saturday, November 21, as Clare hosts a NAIDOC event to celebrate the Ngadjuri Nation and its peoples.

To be held under the gum trees at the Clare Showgrounds, the community is invited to join in the fun with activities ranging from clap stick and bead making to cooking kangaroo tails and Aboriginal painting.

This will be the second public NAIDOC event in Clare, with the organising committee working hard to create vibrant experiences that bring centuries-old Ngadjuri cultural practices to life.

Clare NAIDOC committee chair Natalie Sommerville said NAIDOC Week 2020’s theme had provided inspiration for the day’s activities.

“In keeping with the theme, ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’, Clare’s NAIDOC event will shine a spotlight on the Ngadjuri Nation and the diversity and richness of its culture,” she said.

“NAIDOC is a time for all First Nations peoples to come together and celebrate contributions, cultural knowledge and histories with each other and all Australians. We welcome the Mid North community to this event including non-Aboriginal residents and families to learn, connect and share in the celebration.”

The event will run from 10am to 4pm and officially start with a Q&A session with Ngadjuri elder Uncle Vince Copley talking about NAIDOC’s history and a Welcome to Country by Ngadjuri man Quenten Agius.

Mr Agius, who has been part of the event’s planning said it was not only an opportunity for non-indigenous people to experience Aboriginal culture, it was also a chance for Ngadjuri peoples to come together on Country and share their experiences and stories with each other and the public.

“We welcome the people of Clare and others onto Ngadjuri Country for the Clare NAIDOC 2020 event,” he said.

“Ngadjuri are the traditional owners of the area from Tanunda in the south to Orroroo in the north and east past Burra towards the SA border.

“Ngadjuri people remain connected to Country, caring for our cultural landscapes and performing ceremonies. We are excited to be sharing parts of our culture with the broader community at this event.”

This year due to COVID-19, school groups will experience Clare’s NAIDOC event on screen, with the Saturday’s activities captured on film and shared with students at participating schools at a later date.

NAIDOC Week 2020 is officially held across Australia from November 8-15. It aims to recognise First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for more than 65,000 years.

Led by the Clare NAIDOC committee together with Ngadjuri Nation Aboriginal Corporation, the Clare event is supported by the Northern and Yorke Landscape Board and Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, Clare & Gilbert Valleys Council and the Landscape Levy.

The Clare NAIDOC event has also received support from Sonder and the Department for Education.