Standing on sacred ground
MORE than 200 gathered to celebrated the start of NAIDOC Week at Byron Shire Council's flag raising ceremony.
This year's theme is We all Stand on Sacred Ground: Learn, Respect and Celebrate and Mayor Simon Richardson gave a special warm welcome to the winners of NAIDOC Week Awards for Byron Shire.
The Awards ceremony saw 15 people from throughout the region recognised for the contribution they are making across education, sport, environment, art, dance, theatre and community initiatives.
"Today's acknowledgement of Indigenous achievement is recognition of how privileged Byron Shire is to have a rich Indigenous culture within our boundaries," he said.
"From the young to the elders, our NAIDOC Week achievers rightfully stand proud and their connection to place, the environment, community and family is an inspiration to us all.
"Thank you for sharing your knowledge and ensuring that it is passed from one generation to the next.
"I am proud to live alongside a mob that celebrates its culture, is determined to add its voice to our current decision making and to share its wisdom when considering how we live together as a community on this land.
"The week is a great opportunity to learn, participate in a range of activities and to support your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community."
NAIDOC week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Bundjalung of Byron Bay, Arakwal People will today present a Cultural Celebration starting at 10am at with a march from from Peace Pole in Railway Park to Main Beach.
At 11am there will be dancing, music performances, BBQ and children's activities at Main Beach, Byron Bay.
2015 NAIDOC Week Awards for Byron Shire
- Health Service Provider- Larissa Smith
- Educator- Scott Sentence and Sonia Woods
- Community- not for profit Organisation- Mullumbimby and District Neighbourhood Centre Inc
- Aboriginal & TSI Child of the Year (under 12)- Wyuna Baker and Kasey Burton
- Aboriginal & TSI Child of the Year (12 - 25)- Sahaj Blatt and Jessica Power
- Aboriginal & TSI Person of the Year- Aniba Kay and Shannon Dousling
- Aboriginal Sportsperson of the Year - Harrison Rutter Cavanough and Kaliyah Browning
- Aboriginal Artist of the Year- Kaitlyn Clarke
- Elder of the Year- Peter Birch- Marshall