Njernda NAIDOC Community Carnival – July 9, 2021
Njernda Aboriginal Corporation has announced plans for a community-wide celebration to mark NAIDOC Week, honoring the 2021 NAIDOC theme ‘heal country, heal our nation’.
The annual NAIDOC Week celebration of Aboriginal people and culture runs from July 4 to 11, with the Community Carnival at Echuca’s Rotary Park to be held on Friday July 10 from 10am to 5pm.
“The emphasis is on fun, on bringing people together and sharing together,” said Njernda Youth and Justice Services Team Leader Ella Blackberry.
“We’ll have amusement carnival rides and all the fun that goes with that, as well as a cultural aisle, with Elders speaking, face painting, cultural dance performances, singers. And of course, food trucks & drinks and fireworks for the end of the night,” she said.
“We want everyone to be part of it, so all we’re asking for is a voluntary gold coin donation to attend and enjoy all the rides and activities for free.”
The NAIDOC Theme this year is “Heal Country, heal our nation”, which is a call for stronger measures to recognise, protect, and maintain all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage.
Ms Blackberry said the goal of the carnival was first to bring people together, and to build understanding and learning.
“Our Indigenous heritage is something that belongs to all of us, and that we can all be proud of and celebrate together,” she said.
“Bringing people together is what NAIDOC is about, and what we are trying to achieve at a local level – this is the very first event of its type in our local community, and we hope to have a huge turnout to celebrate with us.”
The National NAIDOC Committee explains that Country is inherent to the identity of Aboriginal people.
“It is more than a place. It sustains our lives in every aspect – spiritually, physically, emotionally, socially, and culturally. When we talk about Country it is spoken of like a person,” the committee explains.
“To Heal Country, we must properly work towards redressing historical injustice. It is more than changing a word in our national anthem – it is about the historical, political, and administrative landscapes adapting to successfully empower and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, nations, and heritage.
“We are all looking for significant and lasting change. We cannot afford to let pass the very real opportunity that now presents itself for reform based on a fundamental change in the relationship Australia has with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”