26 September 2023

NAIDOC ‘step towards Voice vote’

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Western Australians have been invited to celebrate the world’s oldest living culture with the launch of the 2023 NAIDOC Week.

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Tony Buti said the week’s theme, For Our Elders, highlighted the significant contributions made by Elders in their communities, with their leadership and guidance paving the way for better outcomes for Aboriginal people.

“NAIDOC Week as an important time for all Western Australians to unify in celebration and acknowledge the deep connection Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have to their land, history, culture and achievement,” Dr Buti said.

“NAIDOC Week was established to preserve and promote Indigenous cultures, languages and traditions.”

Dr Buti said the Government’s Aboriginal Empowerment Strategy acknowledged the significance of Elders and the important role they played in community leadership.

“Elders have paved the way for generations of Aboriginal communities. They strengthen knowledge and respect across the broader Australian public about the world’s oldest living culture,” he said.

He noted that the Government, through Lotterywest, had allocated more than $176,000 in grants for NAIDOC Week activities.

Premier, Roger Cook said the theme was a fitting acknowledgement of the guidance and hard work that Elders performed, largely behind the scenes, to help protect and support families and local communities.

“I have had a long association with Aboriginal people and communities, and I appreciate the importance of the role that Elders have played and their contributions through generations of activism,” Mr Cook said.

“Later this year all Australians will have their say in a referendum about establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice in our Constitution.”

He said this was another significant opportunity for people to play a part in acknowledging the rights of Indigenous Australians, reconciling our past and understanding our shared future.

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