Bark petitions at Laidley mark bid for indigenous reform

Young didgeridoo player Isaac Gannon with Aunty Therese Webster at yesterday's NAIDOC celebrations in Laidley.
Young didgeridoo player Isaac Gannon with Aunty Therese Webster at yesterday's NAIDOC celebrations in Laidley. Jim Nicholls

THE Lockyer Valley NAIDOC Day was conducted in Laidley's Ferrari Park yesterday, with an official opening ceremony taking place at 10.30am.

Co-ordinator Aunty Therese Webster said the theme for NAIDOC 2013 was the Bark Petitions of 1963, seeking reform for the rights of indigenous Australians.

"In keeping with that theme, celebrations have included Visions for the Future presented by the communities which make up the Lockyer Valley," she said.

During the opening ceremony, a number of petitions, either written on bark, wrapped in bark or framed in bark, were presented to Bradley Saunders, regional director of the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs.

Mr Saunders said bark was symbolic of the Aboriginal people and a fitting medium to mark the 50th anniversary of the original petition.

A highlight of the opening ceremony was a performance by Rosewood Primary School Year 7 student Isaac Gannon, who stunned the crowd with his didgeridoo playing.

Lockyer Valley Deputy Mayor Tanya Milligan welcomed local residents and visitors to the event, saying it was always a pleasure to be part of NAIDOC week celebrations.

"I ask you all to stop and acknowledge the history and culture of indigenous Australians," Cr Milligan said.

Other activities during the event included Dreamtime stories, Aboriginal art workshops, arts and crafts.



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