The proud achievements of Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander women are being celebrated in the west this week as part of NAIDOC Week.
Under the theme “Because of her, we can!”, NAIDOC Week (July 8-15) is highlighting the positive impacts Indigenous women make within their families and across broader society.
A yarn-bombing installation, created in indigenous and Torres Strait Islander flag colours, was unveiled at Braybrook Community Hub on Monday to mark the week.
The festivities included music by Robert Champion, pom-pom making and morning tea. Hobsons Bay council held a flag-raising ceremony on Tuesday, while Maribyrnong council held morning teas at Braybrook, Footscray and Maribyrnong libraries.
For locals such as Western Health manager of Aboriginal health policy and planning Jacqueline Watkins, this year’s theme has a personal resonance.
A descendant of Jingili and Mudburra people, Ms Watkins said her mother was taken from her family at the age of eight, so she spent the rest of her childhood at a Catholic mission on Melville Island.
“She never knew her parents, grandparents, brother, sisters, uncles, aunties,” she said.
“It was almost half a century before mum was reunited with her siblings and we were able to finally have our connection to our culture, language and land.”
Ms Watkins said NAIDOC Week is a chance to celebrate and showcase achievements to a wider community.
Hobsons Bay Council held a flag-raising ceremony on Tuesday, while Maribyrnong Council held morning teas at Braybrook, Footscray and Maribyrnong libraries.
Maribyrnong mayor Cuc Lam encouraged people to use NAIDOC Week to stop, reflect and
acknowledge the women who work tirelessly to make the west “the best place it can be”.