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GALLERY: NAIDOC celebrations in Seymour

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Max Davies
Max Davies
Max is a journalist for the North Central Review. He joined the paper as a cadet journalist in 2021 and graduated from La Trobe University in 2023. He takes a keen interest in motorsport and the automotive industry.

By Max Davies

Goranwarrabul Mob and Friends brought the community together on Thursday to celebrate National Aboriginals and Islanders Day Observance Committee, NAIDOC, Week.

NAIDOC Week was celebrated last week and this year featured the theme ‘For Our Elders’, with a range of activities and events taking place to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

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The Seymour event featured a smoking ceremony at Goranwarrabul House followed by a NAIDOC Week parade to Kings Park, with a brief stop at the Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk to lay a wreath in remembrance.

First Peoples Assembly of Victoria north east engagement officer Rebecca Welsh said Seymour’s NAIDOC Week event continued to improve each year.

“It just keeps getting better and better, there’s definitely more people here this year,” she said.

“I feel like awareness of NAIDOC over the years in the broader community just keeps increasing and people are coming from all over. We’ve got mob from Shepparton, Craigieburn, New South Wales, they’re not just local mob and community.”

The smoking ceremony at Seymour’s Goranwarrabul House was headed by Aunty Jo Honeysett and Taungurung elder Uncle Shane Monk and attended by a large crowd.

Almost all visitors also participated in the parade to Kings Park to take part in a range of activities hosted by groups such as Snake Safe Victoria and Gnarly Neighbours.

Goranwarrabul House, which has hosted NAIDOC Week smoking ceremonies in previous years, is a community meeting place and home to a popular food bank, which operates five days a week.

Goranwarrabul Mob and Friends coordinator Brenda Newman said the house supported at least 35 families every week and was also home to a range of men’s and women’s groups, and professional health information. It also provides a place to socialise.

“It’s all around health and wellbeing but it’s also community engagement,” she said.

“We have a lot of people that are lonely that love to come down, have a cuppa and meet with other mobs, and there’s always something going on – it’s social connectedness.”

Ms Newman said the house was also a place for people to support each other, especially after the impacts of last year’s floods.

“A lot of people come here for their mental health, they just need to socialise and need to talk to people,” she said.

Ms Welsh praised Ms Newman for her efforts in organising NAIDOC Week activities in Seymour and hoped the event would continue into the future through further funding.

Goranwarrabul Mob and Friends also thanked its sponsors and partners for their assistance with the event, including the Taungurung Land and Waters Council, First Peoples Assembly of Victoria, and Mitchell Shire Council among others.

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