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A time to be proud and celebrate culture.

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Media Release

A time to be proud and celebrate culture


8 July 2001


ATSIC Commissioners for NSW encourage all to participate in NAIDOC events and festivities over the coming week to celebrate our vibrant and enduring Indigenous culture.

These events are designed to bring people and communities together to create a greater awareness and understanding of our culture.

The theme for NAIDOC 2001 is ‘Treaty - lets get it right’.

During the week it is important that we observe our progress and achievements but just as important that we consider what business still needs to be addressed.

With this in mind we should recall the dedication and commitment of our forefathers, including William Ferguson, Jack Patten and William Cooper.

On January 26, 1938 two Aboriginal organisations -the Australian Aboriginal League and the Australian Aborigines’ Progressive Association combined to hold a ‘Day of Mourning’ to mark the 150th Anniversary of the landing of the First Fleet.

William Ferguson and Jack Patten wrote a pamphlet entitled, ‘Aborigines Claim Citizen Rights,’ to coincide with the day.

It condemned the Aborigines Protection Act of NSW and the Aborigines Protection Board and called for a new Aboriginal policy, full citizenship status and land rights.

It was later suggested the date of the Day of Mourning be changed to July to enable not only observance but to celebrate culture and achievement.

It is fitting that this years NAIDOC theme ‘Treaty - lets get it right’ is in keeping with our observance of our unfinished business, while at the same time celebrating all that we have achieved.

There is much to be proud of, not only across NSW, but the entire nation so lets celebrate and be proud.

In NSW local governments, community groups and organisations have arranged events to promote our

achievements. For further information contact your local council or your Regional ATSIC office.

Sydney: 1800 044966 Lismore: 1800 625105 Tamworth: 1800 626603 Queanbeyan: 1800 642002 Bourke: 1800 647102 Wagga Wagga: 1800 664101

Media Inquires: Commissioner Sydney Metropolitan, Christine Williams: 0417 283 408 Commissioner East Zone (Tweed Tamworth Newcastle) Des Williams: 0418 494 279 Commissioner Western Zone (Bourke,Wagga, Queanbeyan) Steve Gordon 0419254584. ATSIC: Phillipa McDermott: 0418 467 020


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