NAIDOC week in Warwick

Senior Sergeant Jamie Deacon invited Delphine Chalmers and First Nations Liaison Officer Mandy Bahr to cut the cake (Lucy Waldron: 418063_03).

By Lucy Waldron

Warwick began its NAIDOC Week celebrations with a march and a flag ceremony, gathering several community members at Warwick Uniting Church to honour the occasion.

The event was led by QPS Senior Sergeant Jamie Deacon, who emphasised the significance of NAIDOC Week as a time to celebrate the diverse cultures and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. He highlighted the importance of fostering a deeper understanding of Australia’s shared history and future.

“Each year, the NAIDOC Week theme is chosen to give prominence to matters of importance, create awareness, and celebrate successes,” Senior Sergeant Deacon said.

“This year’s theme, ’Keep the Fire Burning, Blak, and Proud,’ is a nod to the vitality and interest in culture through a connection with the country and community, representing a celebration of identity.”

Githabul woman Melissa Chalmers spoke to this year’s theme, celebrating the unyielding spirit of Indigenous communities.

“This year’s theme invites all to stand in solidarity, amplifying the voices that have long been silenced,” Ms Chalmers said.

“The fire represents the enduring strength and vitality of Indigenous cultures passed down through generations despite challenges.

“It symbolises connection to the land, to each other, and to the rich tapestry of traditions that define Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. ’Blak, Loud, and Proud’ encapsulates the unapologetic celebration of Indigenous identity, empowering us to stand tall in our heritage and assert our place in the modern world.”

Chalmers called for a reclamation of narratives, amplification of voices, and an unwavering commitment to justice and equality, urging all Australians to engage in meaningful dialogue and fully value the contributions of Indigenous peoples.

The Queensland Police Service has hosted this local event since 2012. However, due to renovations at the Warwick Police Station, the traditional flag-raising ceremony was substituted with an explanation of the symbolism behind the flags and a celebratory cake cutting.

Tuesday held a River Walk and an Elders morning tea at Bushkids, Wednesday saw NAIDOC story time at Warwick Library.

On Thursday and Friday don’t miss the Goolburri and Mercy Community lunch and Goolburri Fun day at Leslie Park 10am – 3.30pm