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Gulpa gaka to Yorta Yorta Woka
Gulpa gaka to Yorta Yorta Woka
(Welcome to Yorta Yorta Country)
The National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) is a week-long celebration each July recognising the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The theme for 2017, Our Languages Matter, focuses on the importance of retaining traditional language within communities. The intrinsic link between traditional language and cultural identity, strongly link to water and land.
In recent years, brigades across Victoria have celebrated NAIDOC week through small gatherings, attending community events or organising specific CFA led events.
Highlighted during National Reconciliation Week 2017, the CFA’s Koori Inclusion Action Plan shares stories of relationships developed with traditional owners and the importance of understanding the cultural significance of traditional lands and how the CFA respectfully embeds culture into land practice and land management.
One of the longest running events CFA have participated in is NAIDOC celebrations in Barmah in the North West region. Captain of the Barmah brigade, Murray Blair says the event brings community together in celebration of the Land of the Yorta Yorta Nation, the traditional owners.
“This NAIDOC event has been going for quite a few years. It brings us all together to show our respect to the traditional owners.”
With languages the theme for this year’s NAIDOC celebrations, Barmah’s traditional owners, the Yorta Yorta Nation, take pride in their traditional language Yorta Yorta. The Yorta Yorta nation is made up of many different clans and a move to preserve the language is strong within the region.
Gulpa gaka Yorta Yorta woka is proudly displayed as a welcome on travelling into the region.
In other parts of Victoria, members from the CFA will be joining in community events to celebrate NAIDOC.
- Ballarat: A stall will be attended by CFA Community Safety and Vegetation Management representatives outside the Ballarat Aboriginal Cooperative in Sturt Street. The Cooperative are hosting an open day to celebrate NAIDOC
- Swan Hill: Members will participate in local NAIDOC celebrations in Swan Hill, attending a Community Breakfast, flag raising and march.
- Last year, delegates from the CFA including Phil Hawkey attended the Cape York Indigenous Fire Knowledge workshop. This year CFA are sending Phil Hawkey and Lenny Timmins a volunteer from Eildon brigade will be attending the workshop during NAIDOC Week. A wonderful opportunity for team members to learn more about Indigenous fire practice.
CFA social media will be bringing stories and images during the week. Stay tuned.