Women at centre of NAIDOC celebrations

A NUMBER of events are being held in Evanston over the next week to celebrate Aboriginal culture as part of NAIDOC Week.

For this year’s NAIDOC Week, which is officially being held between July 8-15, the nation is celebrating the contributions of Aboriginal women, in particular, with the week’s theme being Because of Her, We Can!

In line with the theme, Evanston Gardens Library is hosting a basketweaving circle involving several female Aboriginal elders, along with an ‘Aboriginal Cultural Connection’ workshop tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the Gawler Reconciliation Action Group has organised a female artist performance for the Gawler NAIDOC Ball at the Evanston Gardens Community Centre, next Friday (July 20) at 4pm.

Gawler Reconciliation Action Group chairwoman Rebecca Kimlin, who is taking part in the basket-weaving circle, said this year’s NAIDOC Week theme has empowered a lot of women.

“It’s a long time coming, I think, because Aboriginal women’s role has changed significantly since invasion,” she said.

“Not only are they the nurturers, the carers, the people that look after other people, but they’re also the trailblazers, the elders, the keepers of the Aboriginal law – as well as the men, obviously, but it’s good to recognise their equal part.”

Ms Kimlin said the basket-weaving circle will highlight the diversity of weaving styles used by Aboriginal women across Australia.

“The elders that have put their hand up to do this are mainly Ngarrindjeri women, and their basket-weaving is from the Coorong,” she said.

“Their nets, their baskets, were used for all sorts of things – fishing nets, things to carry babies in, bags; they’re very famous for their baskets.

“There’s also another woman coming from Queensland, and then myself, and I’m from Alice Springs – and the way I basket-weave is very much from the centre of Australia, so it’s different, but similar.”

Gawler Mayor Karen Redman encouraged people to attend the events being held at the library.

“To honour Aboriginal women – senior, elder women – who have been so important to Aboriginal culture, but also to bringing issues to the fore… I think it’s only right that we support them by celebrating NAIDOC Week here in Gawler and having various activities that people can come to and learn about Aboriginal culture in Gawler,” Mrs Redman said.

“We all win and are all nourished by that.”

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Matteo Gagliardi joined The Bunyip in August 2016 with almost two years experience in regional print media, having previously worked at a community newspaper in Swan Hill, Victoria. Covering politics, local government and crime, Matteo likes to sink his teeth into hard-hitting issues, but also enjoys spending time getting to know the Gawler community. Matteo also has a passion for science, agriculture and the environment, and has previously worked as a media officer at the Australian Science Media Centre.

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