Music drifts out of the garden as a troupe of Indigenous men approaches decorated in white paint. Eighty people crowd around as the dancers spin and stamp, telling stories of the Dreamtime with the movement of their bodies. The smell of food and the sound of laughter permeate the air. It is the annual NAIDOC celebration at The Juninga Centre in Darwin.
NAIDOC originally stood for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’, which was once responsible for organising national activities during NAIDOC Week. Over time this acronym has become the name of the week itself.
NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life. The week is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and to support your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. All Australians are encouraged to participate and on the 26 of June, that was exactly what the team at The Juninga Centre and their families did.
“Everyone had a great time,” said Jenny Messell, Director of Nursing at The Juninga Centre.
“Radio Larrakia played songs; the food was excellent and so was the large cake donated by Anglicare for the celebration.”
“NAIDOC is all about recognition. A day of celebration. The clients really love the music and the family catch-up and interaction with everyone.”
The Juninga Centre, managed by Frontier Services, put on a BBQ in the beautiful shady green gardens with plenty of food and drinks. A highlight of the day was Radio Larrakia broadcasting live from The Juninga Centre. The radio presenters entertained the group by playing old-time favorites such as Slim Dusty and Charley Pride. It was truly a day of celebration and a special tribute to the Elders of the community for their contribution to Darwin and the Northern Territory.