Southern Downs Regional Council is proud to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and their important contribution to our communities during NAIDOC Week 2019. Organisations and community groups across the Southern Downs will host a series of events celebrating NAIDOC Week from 3 to 14 July.

This year’s NAIDOC theme—Voice. Treaty. Truth.—coincides with 2019 being the United Nations’ International Year of Indigenous Languages. The theme celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages as the first languages of Australia while also recognising that their voices, absent through much of Australia’s history, must be heard if Australia is going to reconcile with its history and work together for a shared future.

Councillor for Health, Cultural Diversity and Learning Neil Meiklejohn said that there are plenty of family-friendly events across the Southern Downs to celebrate this year’s NAIDOC Week. “NAIDOC Week is kicking off a bit early this year on the Southern Downs, with the NAIDOC Celebrations event on Wednesday 3 July at the Warwick Hospital which will include the Galamaay Dance Troupe, health and community stalls, fun activities and free lunch. Several regular highlights of NAIDOC Week return this year, including the NAIDOC Combined Church Service, Queensland Police NAIDOC Flag Raising Ceremony and the Waringh Waringh Elders Morning Tea. The Granite Belt Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation will host a NAIDOC Lunch and Family Day in Stanthorpe on Sunday, 7 July, and the Warwick Indigenous Network Group will host a NAIDOC Family Fun Day on Wednesday, 10 July in Leslie Park. The week will come to a close with NAIDOC celebrations at Stanthorpe Hospital on Friday 12 July,” he said.

Mr Meiklejohn would like to thank all the organisations and community groups that worked hard to offer the region these wonderful events, and said that Council encourages all residents to attend and show their support for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.