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DECORATED cars will parade through Mossman to celebrate the 2020 NAIDOC Week.

Douglas Shire Council is proud to support the Mossman NAIDOC committee’s program, which gets underway with a flag raising ceremony outside Council Administration on Monday 9 November.

Usually held in July each year, the week was postponed to protect elders and those in the community with chronic health issues through to COVID-19 pandemic.

The week will conclude with a NAIDOC car rally on Friday, November 13.

The 2020 theme, ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’, is about recognising and celebrating that the very first footprints on Australia were those belonging to First Nations peoples.

Mossman NAIDOC Committee member Kirsty Burchill said this year was about seeing, hearing and learning the First Nations’ 65,000+ year history of Australia.

“Locally, our Eastern Kuku Yalanji culture celebrates our beautiful Bubu (country) ‘Madja Maku Njyajil Jalun’, or ‘Where the “Rainforest meets the Sea’, and how enriched and blessed we are in culture and language and how it is kept alive today,” she said.

“We Bama pride ourselves on our deep respect for our ‘Bubu’ and our ‘Kuku’ (Language) things we were taught and were passed down traditionally by our “Kamba Kamba” (Elders.)

“We are a forever learning and forever growing community”.

NAIDOC Week 2020 recognises that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were Australia’s first explorers, first navigators, first engineers, first farmers, first botanists, first scientists, first diplomats, first astronomers and first artists.

Always Was, Always Will Be acknowledges that hundreds of Nations and our cultures covered this continent. All were managing the land – the biggest estate on earth – to sustainably provide for their future.

“We want all Australians to celebrate that we have the oldest continuing cultures on the planet and to recognise that our sovereignty was never ceded,” Ms Burchill said.

Douglas Shire Mayor Michael Kerr, who will address the gathering at the Flag raising Ceremony, said Council was making real progress on indigenous recognition.

“By hiring an indigenous liaison officer, finishing the Indigenous language place signage and involving our Traditional Owners in tourism opportunities, we are taking a big step forward in respecting and acknowledging our local culture,” he said.

“Councillors and almost 200 staff recently attended really insightful cultural awareness training sessions with Jabalbina, which I encourage other organisations to get their staff involved in.

“I would like to see Council be champions for the Kuku Yalanji, Yirrganydji and Djabugay people’s needs, ideas and attitudes moving forward.”

View the full 2020 NAIDOC Week program below.

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