NAIDOC Week observed in Council's Year of Reconciliation
Published: 7 July 2017
People from across the City of Logan gathered today to celebrate NAIDOC Week.
The ceremony, hosted by the Logan First Nation Peoples Community Coalition in Woodridge, included a presentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags to City Lifestyle & Customer Services Committee chair Cr Steve Swenson.
Councillor Swenson said this year’s NAIDOC theme, “Our Languages Matter”, was especially relevant for Logan where the Traditional Owners’ language was being preserved.
“Hundreds of languages covered this continent at the time of first (significant) European contact in the late 18th century. There were at least 250 distinct language groups, most with several dialects,” Cr Swenson said. “Today, only about 120 are spoken and many are at risk of being lost as Elders pass on.
“We’re fortunate to have the Yugambeh Museum, Language and Heritage Research Centre, which aims to record and promote the traditional knowledge of our region, especially the Yugambeh languages.
“By revitalising this language, we can hear Yugambeh stories and truly connect with our local Indigenous culture. Languages link people to their land and water; stories and songs transmit history, spirituality and rites.”
Cr Swenson encouraged all Australians to learn more about how Indigenous languages were used today.
“Many of our place names have Indigenous words. For instance, Jimboomba, Yarrabilba and Mundoolun,” he said. Knowing more about them is something we can all do, during Council’s Year of Reconciliation, to increase our appreciation and respect.”
The ceremony included addresses by Elders, traditional dancing and music, the national anthem in Yugambeh language, and a performance by hip hop MC Triks from Intrikit Wayz.
NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. It dates back to the 1920s with the emergence of groups that sought to increase awareness about the status and treatment of First Australians. For more information visit http://www.naidoc.org.au/