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NAIDOC Celebrations at Central Desert Regional Council


Central Desert Regional Council (CDRC) decided to celebrate NAIDOC week on the original dates in July rather than in hot November like the rest of Australia.

 On Tuesday 7 July in Nyirripi, Ben Gallagher, Traditional Owner, dressed in traditional attire for their event and provided some education to the people who attended.

Ben and several other local people constructed a ‘humpy’, a traditional Aboriginal hut, out of branches and spinifex to provide shade. He demonstrated some Indigenous artefacts and implements including spears, boomerangs and implements to make damper and hair braids.

CDRC provided a large pot of beef stew and rice for the event and was sufficient to feed sixty of the locals who reported it really hit the spot on a mild afternoon.

“It was a really good day and local people and Service providers had a good time,” said CDRC Community Services Coordinator (CSC) Ben Campion.

Main Picture: Ben Gallagher demonstrating the use of boomerangs as clap sticks.


On the same day in Lajamanu, CDRC Councillor (Cr) Joe Marshall and CDRC staff member Andrew Johnson said a few words about the importance of NAIDOC week before the flag raising ceremony.

“Unfortunately we couldn’t lower or raise the flag with the rope as it gets jammed in the pulley, so we had to do it Iwo Jima style,” said acting Community Services Manager (CSM) Michael Erglis, meaning they had to lower and walk the pole up once the flag was attached.

The flag raising was followed by a barbecue.   

Flag raising ceremony Lajamanu NAIDOC Week 2020

Walking the flag pole up in Lajamanu, from left: Adam Cooke, Andrew Sua, Hector Patterson and Cr Joe Marshall.

On Wednesday 8 July in Ti Tree, CDRC Cr James Glenn raised the Aboriginal flag and gave a speech about the importance of NAIDOC week and recognising Aboriginal people and their culture in Australia.

This was followed by a barbecue enjoyed by CDRC staff, community members and the police.

Flag raising ceremony Anmatjere NAIDOC 2020

Cr James Glenn raising the Aboriginal flag in Ti Tree.

On Thursday 9 July in Engawala community members and CDRC staff attended the flag raising ceremony at the CDRC office. Benedict Bird performed a Welcome to Country, Cr Audrey Inkamala gave a speech about NAIDOC Week and some local children raised the Aboriginal flag. This was followed by a barbecue cooked over a fire.

Flag raising ceremony welcome to country Engawala NAIDOC 2020

Benedict Bird performing a Welcome to Country at the NAIDOC celebrations in Engawala.

Flag raising ceremony speech Engawala NAIDOC 2020

Cr Audrey Inkamala giving a speech at the NAIDOC celebrations in Engawala.