15 August 2016
Narrabri hosts event to mark 2016 NAIDOC Week
Whitehaven’s first Reconciliation Action Plan includes a commitment to recognise and promote NAIDOC Week which this year took place between 5 and 12 July. To mark this year’s event our Narrabri operation hosted a BBQ for staff where Gomeroi Narrabri Aboriginal Corporation Chairman Craig Trindall was guest speaker.
Craig spoke about the theme for NAIDOC 2016, ‘Songlines – the living narrative of our nation’. and also about the improving relationships between Aboriginal communities and Whitehaven along with Whitehaven’s Reconciliation Action Plan. Steve Bow, Whitehaven’s General Manager at Narrabri, spoke about disparity in employment, income health and life expectancy.
Pictured at Whitehaven’s Narrabri NAIDOC event are: Ray Smith (Registered Aboriginal Party), Steve Bow (Whitehaven Coal, General Manager Narrabri), Craig Trindall (Chair Gomeroi Narrabri Aboriginal Corporation), Jamie Frankcombe (Whitehaven Coal, EGM Operations), Paul Flynn (Whitehaven Coal CEO and Managing Director). Front row: Matilda Trindall and Jinali Trindall.
In addition to the event at the Narrabri, Whitehaven made a donation in support of other NAIDOC events organised by the Walhallow LALC, Gunnedah NAIDOC Committee and Narrabri LALC.
Walhallow School had a visit by former South Sydney Rabbitohs player Nathan Merritt and a old time dance for Elders, while Gunnedah community re-inacted the celebrated historical run by “Red Chief” from Breeza to Gunnedah. Whitehaven’s sponsored minibus acted as support vehicle. Narrabri started NAIDOC week off with a flag raising ceremony at the Narrabri LALC and also held a disco.
NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. Its origins can be traced to the emergence of Aboriginal groups in the 1920′s which sought to increase awareness in the wider community of the status and treatment of Indigenous Australians.
NAIDOC Week celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The National NAIDOC theme for 2016 was Songlines –The living narrative of our nation. This year’s theme highlights Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the Dreamtime which describes a time when the earth, people and animals were created by our ancestral spiritual beings. They created the rivers, lakes, plants, land formations and living creatures. Dreaming tracks are sometimes called ‘Songlines’ which record the travels of these ancestral spirits who ‘sung’ the land into life.
Lynn Trindall, CEO of Narrabri Local Aboriginal Land Council, thanked Whitehaven for supporting NAIDOC Week.