ART AND CULTURE: Liela Townend (right) inspects her brother Ryan’s work at the boomerang painting workshop. PHOTO MATTHEW NEWTON
ART AND CULTURE: Liela Townend (right) inspects her brother Ryan’s work at the boomerang painting workshop. PHOTO MATTHEW NEWTON

NAIDOC week a cultural affair

MORE than 50,000 years of heritage were celebrated last week as part of the region's NAIDOC week celebrations.

The week culminated in a family fun day at St Catherine's Catholic College on Sunday, which included boomerang and face-painting, touch football, a traditional meal cooked in an earthen oven known as Kup Murrie, and raffles.

All up, nearly $880 was raised for the Proserpine Indigenous Reference Group.

But as well as bringing the community together in celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage, NAIDOC Week is helping young indigenous Australians grow and develop, says Proserpine Indigenous Reference Group events organiser Keisha McEwan.

Ms McEwan said through her work with indigenous youth, she had seen first-hand the effects of racism and kids not wanting to identify with their own culture.

"Some of them are either too ashamed or too scared to acknowledge who they really are," she said.

"I see a fair bit of it personally, but I try to tell them that if they don't know where they come from, they don't know where they want to go.

"Hopefully as they get older and attend more NAIDOC events, they learn a bit more."

With PIRG hosting three NAIDOC Week events this year, Ms McEwan hoped 2016 would see PIRG fill up the whole of NAIDOC Week with activities.

She also wished to thank Cr Jan Clifford for attending the week's events and the events' sponsors.

"Without (the sponsors') support these events wouldn't be able to go ahead," she said.


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