NAIDOC Week 2012 was a big success for the Ceduna community, with the highlight an open-air concert featuring country music superstar Troy Cassar-Daley.
Events were planned over July 3 and 4, with events taking place at the Far West Aboriginal Sporting Complex.
This year’s them was ‘Spirit of the Tent Embassy, 40 years on”, remembering the formation of the Tent Embassy in Canberra in 1972 and it’s continuing representation of the ongoing campaign for Indigenous rights.
Celebrations started with the Elders Luncheon on July 3, which was attended by many of the local community elders and was sponsored by Ceduna Koonibba Aboriginal Health Service Aboriginal Corporation.
Health Service Chairperson Leonard Miller said the luncheon is a way of giving back to the local elders for their services.
“It’s important to acknowledge the elders, their knowledge of the country and the important positions elders have in our culture and in our community,” he said.
“NAIDOC Week is all bout bringing in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people together to celebrate togetherness and the rights we share.”
Wednesday July 4 kicked off with the Family Fun Day at the Sporting Complex from 12.30-5pmm with a range of exhibits and activities available for those in attendance.
Agencies including Home and Community Care SA and Families SA had tent displays and a photo display of the Far West Aboriginal Progress Association (FWAPA) was also on display.
Social Health Intervention Officer Naomi Peek said the event has allowed many of the services in Ceduna the chance to inform the community of their continuing service.
“This was a great way of getting out to the community and inform them of what we and the other services provide,” she said.
“This is truly a big week for Ceduna, which has brought so many people from around the community together.”
Jack Johncock and Peter Jericho held numerous sporting events for the children and a Zumba display was also on show for public participation.
Music was also provided by local Aboriginal group Wanna Band, who also performed at the Elders Luncheon.
But all of the activities led up to the main event, the open-air concert featuring Troy Cassar-Daley and his band.
Around 500 people from all around the West Coast attended the concert, which saw Cassar-Daley perform a range of his classic hits and songs from his new album, ‘Home’.
TWT chairperson Heather Coleman gave a welcome to everyone in attendance and gave a presentation to BP Corporate Responsibility Manager Maria Soares for BP’s involvement in the event.
Ceduna Mayor Allan Suter also gave an introduction, and said this celebration is something the Aboriginal community should be proud of.
“The Aboriginal community should be very proud of the NAIDOC Week celebrations, it’s always a big event here in Ceduna,” he said.
The audience showed their pleasure as Troy Cassar-Daley went through his set and even gave the crowd a couple of encore songs.
Talent is also shown to run in the family, with daughter Jem Cassar-Daley performing on the keyboard at one stage, and son Clay Cassar-Daley, who was celebrating his fourteenth birthday, singing George Jones song ‘Choices’.
Overall the concert and the NAIDOC celebrations were seen as a great success.
Troy Cassar-Daley said the Ceduna crowd were great and it is always a pleasure to be involved in NAIDOC celebrations.
“I thought the Ceduna audience was great, I loved their appreciation for my songs and my kids’ performances as well,” he said.
“I always feel a sense of pride to play gigs for NAIDOC Week celebrations, because our culture is worth celebrating and coming over for these shows is always a thrill.”
The day was sponsored by TWT, BP Australia, Ceduna Indigenous Coordination Centre and the NAIDOC Committee.