‘We all stand on Sacred Ground’ was the theme of this year’s NAIDOC celebrations which took place on the ancestral homelands of the Gadigal people of the Eora nation from 5 to 12 July. The week of events began with a Sunday social gathering, church service and BBQ at St John’s Anglican Church where the unveiling of the Scarred Tree plaque in the grounds was a fitting way to pay respects to Elders past and present. It was followed by a dinner, film and discussion night at the Glebe Town Hall on Monday 6 July. The chosen film, BabaKiueria, a classic mockumentary on the colonisation of Australia led to some lively discussion. On the Wednesday, NAIDOC hosted an Elders Lunch at the recently dedicated Aboriginal Cultural Space at Glebe TownHall, while Thursday saw a women’s craft and pamper day take place there, followed by a ‘Talking Country’ workshop led by Heather Goodall and local Elders on the Friday. On Saturday the Corroboree took place at the Glebe Youth Service, showcasing some very talented young performers A very cold and windy Family Day at Glebe Public School, and the Aboriginal History Tour on Sunday 12 July rounded off the week’s activities, with the tour featuring some recently rediscovered information concerning Aboriginal trade unionists from Glebe.

Chilly winds couldn't deter people at the smoking ceremony and sacred fire. (Image: Janice Challinor)
Chilly winds couldn’t deter people at the smoking ceremony and sacred fire. (Image: Janice Challinor)

NAIDOC in Glebe has grown to encompass a full week of activities over the last few years and has, in the process, become a great opportunity for all of Glebe to celebrate together. It is a very inclusive event. Estimates of crowd numbers at the major events such as the Corroboree and Family Day were around 300 to 400.

At the July committee meeting the Glebe Society considered becoming a sponsor of the 2016 NAIDOC week in Glebe. This could include advertising NAIDOC events through the Glebe Society website, as well as some limited monetary support for printing the week’s program. The Glebe Society’s involvement could also provide an opportunity for sharing information such as the upcoming discussion on the Recognition debate being planned by some NAIDOC committee members and local Elders at the Glebe Town Hall later this year.