Wellington Shire Council and Gippsland Art Gallery will celebrate NAIDOC Week in style with events on Monday 5 July.
The theme of NAIDOC Week for 2021 (4-11 July) is ‘Heal Country’ and calls for all of us to continue to seek greater protections for our lands, our waters, our sacred sites and our cultural heritage from exploitation, desecration, and destruction.
NAIDOC 2021 invites the nation to embrace First Nations’ cultural knowledge and understanding of Country as part of Australia’s national heritage and equally respect the culture and values of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders as they do the cultures and values of all Australians.
NAIDOC Week at the Port of Sale will begin at 10am with a Welcome to Country from local Elder, Aunty Liz Thorpe (indoors on Level 2). This will be followed by the raising of the Australian, Aboriginal, and Torres Strait Islander flags on Foster Street.
A morning tea of ‘bush tucker’ will follow and an opportunity to view the artworks on display on Level 2 made by local First Nations artists. Also on display in the Gallery on Level 1 will be a collection of Aboriginal shields made in ceramic by Gunai, Yorta Yorta, and Gunditjmara artist Raymond Young. Visitors will also be invited to participate in a public message board, by contributing their ideas of what ‘Heal Country’ means to them.
The morning will culminate in a traditional smoking ceremony performed by Aboriginal Elder, Wayne Thorpe, on the forecourt between the building and the Port of Sale.
Visitors are encouraged to continue viewing the current exhibitions at Gippsland Art Gallery, or explore the environs of the Port of Sale, the traditional lands of the Gunaikurnai People.
To comply with current restrictions on numbers at the Port of Sale, all visitors are asked to register their attendance for the NAIDOC Week events on the Gallery website at www.gippslandartgallery.com/events, or contact the Gallery on 03 5142 3500.