Happy NAIDOC Week 2021!

This years NAIDOC theme is ‘Heal Country’. Unfortunately, NAIDOC events here on Larrakia Country have been postponed to keep our community safe from COVID.

Since we couldn’t get out to the usual flag raising ceremony today, we asked CAAPS Darrandirra Keyworker Kyle to share what NAIDOC week means to him:

‘’Kyle Lachlan – Yuwin Ngadhi, Kyle. Dyiramadiliyna Badhu Wiradjuri-bu Gamilaraay Biran.

My name is Kyle. I am a proud Wiradjuri and Gamilaraay man.

My Family ties run through the Central West, North West Slope Regions and the Central Tablelands of NSW. I was born and raised on Wodi Wodi, Saltwater Country of the South Coast, where I hold strong family, spiritual & cultural links. My old Nan lived within Hill60 Aboriginal Camp, before being removed during World War II & moved to Coomaditchie Mission which was to allow for the Defence Force to use Hill60 as a vantage point should an invasion from other forces occur.

NAIDOC Week is important to me as it allows Australia to see the strong links, Cultural connection & pride we have as Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander People. Our Culture is the oldest on the planet, with Culture practices still being carried out daily. Within Australia we had over 500 clan/tribal groups that each had their own distinguished language, and lifestyle. It is important to recognise and acknowledge that we no longer have anywhere near 500 clan/tribal groups or languages left and pay Respects to all our people before us.

This years ‘Heal Country, Heal Our Nation’ Theme hits home for a lot of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people. It speaks of healing the land, healing our hearts, healing our people & protecting our Culture & sacred sites from destruction, desecration, & exploitation. The importance around Healing Country is of great significance, it allows us to Heal for the generations that come after us who will be the next generation of knowledge keepers, story tellers & Cultural practiser’s. Healing Country is a fundamental part of our life as First Nations People. As known, Country is family, kin, law, lore, ceremony, traditions and language. We do not own the Land but instead come from the mother of the land. It is our Cultural obligation to ensure the mother is protected, healed & well looked after for the rest of time. We must remember the theme ‘Heal Country’ is not only about healing our country environmentally but also healing ourselves and others physically, spiritually, and mentally.

Each year during NAIDOC Week I perform song and dance at my local community NAIDOC Events, but this year I am spending it off Country and doing so Respectfully on the Lands of Larrakia. I pay my Respects to the Larrakia people, and Elders and thank them for allowing me to live and work on their country. I look forward to attending & participating in community events once restrictions ease.’’

Thanks for sharing Kyle!