School holidays a good time for NAIDOC Week celebration in Gunnamatta Park


Sutherland Shire's annual NAIDOC Week celebration was held on Thursday under blue skies in Gunnamatta Park.

The school holidays contributed to a good turnout, with children enjoying play activities after the official proceedings, which started at 10am with a dance performance.

Chair of the Kurranulla Aboriginal Corporation, Deanna Schreiber, read the Welcome to Country which was followed by a flag raising ceremony and the national anthem, sung by Chantelle Symes, in English and Dharawal.

After an address by Mayor Carmelo Pesce, Ms Schreiber interviewed singer Evie J Willie about the theme of this year’s celebrations, “Because of her, we can”.

The theme was a tribute to the contributions Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have made to their families and the wider community.

Evie J Willie performed acoustic and interactive songs before the ceremony concluded about 10.30am.


Indigenous heritage: A previous NAIDOC celebration in Gunnamatta Park.

Indigenous heritage: A previous NAIDOC celebration in Gunnamatta Park.

Families can learn about Sutherland Shire’s Aboriginal heritage while enjoying fun activities during NAIDOC Week, which falls in the school holidays.

Kurranulla Aboriginal Corporation is partnering with Sutherland Shire Council in the celebration at Gunnamatta Park Pavilion, Cronulla, on Thursday, July 12.

NAIDOC (National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee) Week celebrations are held across Australia in July each year.

The program at Cronulla starts at 10am with a Welcome to Country and flag raising ceremony and a performance and workshop by the Auslan Interpreted. Djaadjawan Dancers.

Children will then be able to enjoy free activities, including the Symbio Wildlife Park’s interactive animal display, face painting, jumping castle, Cronulla Sharks inflatable ball toss game and art and craft fete stalls.

Morning tea, with a gold coin donation, and barbecue lunch will be available, and singer Evie J Willie and the Col Hardy band will perform.