For our Elders: NAIDOC 2023

What a perfect theme for such a great event in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

Across the country our Elders play such a significant role in our families, our communities and our workplaces. They guide us through the highs and lows, teach us all we need to know about our life and culture.

My Elders have experienced hardship throughout their lives but have shown us how to navigate through the hard times and celebrate the good times. They are true survivors who have demonstrated resilience and leadership in times when they were not even seen as humans nor counted as Australians. They are the cultural knowledge holders, the trailblazers and our nurturers.

They continue to lead us in the right direction by teaching us right from wrong. I draw my strength from my Elders, not just my family but the Elders I have met in my travels across our beautiful country. I have been blessed to have had the time to sit with the Elders and listen to the knowledge and wisdom that they hold, from human rights, activism, decision making, justice, land management and so much more. 

My Elders give me my inspiration and empower me to be the best version of myself that I can be. I feel honored to have so many great Elders in my life who I can call on at any time for a yarn and advice.

As I watch my kids grow up, I have an obligation now to guide them, to pass down knowledge and give them a real sense of pride to be a black fella.

I took the week off from work during NAIDOC to spend time with my family and loved ones. I was able to take my son to the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence’s NAIDOC day on Gadigal land and caught up with so many friends and mob from around the Redfern community. We did a Grandfather sun sunrise ceremony at Cronulla beach in the beautiful Dharawal Country, thanking Grandfather sun for what each day brings us and paying homage to our Elders.

COVID meant that all events over the past three years had been cancelled, so to see the mob out celebrating our culture and way of life was amazing. Black fellas need that connection as it’s in our DNA. 

– Grant Cameron, Leadership Programs Manager

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