4 Jul 2017: The beginning of NAIDOC week was marked in Victoria yesterday morning by a flag raising ceremony at Federation Square.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island flags were raised by Victorian Elders, members of the Victorian NAIDOC Committee and the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs in Victoria, Natalie Hutchins.
Flag raising ceremonies will take place throughout Australia during the course of the week to acknowledge and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture.
The event at Federation Square included a Smoking Ceremony and a Welcome to Country. It is the first of a series of NAIDOC Week events across Victoria that include Koolin ngargee – a smoking ceremony followed by traditional stories around the fire in the Royal Botanic Gardens, the NAIDOC march on Friday 7 July from the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service on Nicholson Street to Federation Square, and the NAIDOC Ball at the Melbourne Pavillion in Kensington on Saturday 8 July. There are also numerous community events taking place throughout Victoria and Australia.
The theme for NAIDOC Week 2017 is Our Languages Matters that celebrates ‘the essential role that Indigenous languages play in both cuktural identity, linking people to their land and water. And in the transmission of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, spirituality and rites, through story and song.’