July 2, 2019
Kingaroy’s new-look NAIDOC celebrations went off in style in Memorial Park on Monday with an exciting mix of the traditional and the new.
This is the third year a NAIDOC celebration has been held in the town, but this year a new committee made up of South Burnett Indigenous residents organised the activities instead of the South Burnett Regional Council.
The not-for-profit South Burnett Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation (SBATSIC) organised a day of fun activities, including a talent quest which attracted some eager young entrants who sang, rapped and danced.
SBATSIC secretary Val McGrath, from Blackbutt, said that for a first attempt, the day had been very good.
Fellow committee member Allan Gill, from Durong, said to see people still sitting around and chatting after the main activities had finished was terrific.
He was full of praise for Val and Kingaroy’s Jocelyn Clancy for all the work they had done.
“Val and Jocelyn were the ones that got the idea about it and then spent two years trying to get it off the ground,” Allan said.
“Next year it will be even bigger!”
Val and her husband Noel also provided musical entertainment on the day.
The event began with an historic ceremony: the first time the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags have been raised at the Kingaroy War Memorial.
There was also a smoking ceremony conducted by James Doyle, traditional dancing, and speeches by Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington, Mayor Keith Campbell and Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff.
And then there was the line-dancing … and pool noodle whirring!
Compere for the day was Bevan Costello.
More than 20 stalls lined the grounds, offering everything from arts and crafts and food to raising bushfire safety awareness.
The Big Buddy program from Dalby brought over their coffee van, which proved very popular.
The judges had a hard task with the talent quest but awarded prizes to Dean Brady (1st), Emily Cassells (2nd) and Rashida Scott (3rd).
NAIDOC celebrations will be held at Cherbourg next Tuesday (July 9) from 10:00am to 2:00pm in Memorial Park (opposite The Ration Shed historical complex).
The celebrations are a joint effort by The Ration Shed, Cherbourg Council and Cherbourg Hospital.
There will be children’s activities, as well as entertainment and a barbecue.
Council’s Community awards will also be presented.