Good Shepherd celebrates NAIDOC Week

7 July 2017

Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand joined thousands of Australians celebrating the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples this NAIDOC Week.

One of the highlights was the 2017 Frankston and Mornington Peninsula NAIDOC Gala Dinner hosted by the Willum Warrain Aboriginal Association.

Good Shepherd in the Peninsula has a long history of working with the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, and more recently Willum Warrain.

Colin Valentine, Manager Family Services Peninsula attended the event, presenting Lionel Lauch with the 2017 Community Award sponsored by Good Shepherd.

Lionel Lauch, a Gunditjmara Kirrae Wurrung-Bundjalung man, is the founder of Living Culture, an organisation that provides Indigenous educational programs and healing meditation sessions. 

"NAIDOC Week is a chance to celebrate my culture with family and friends. It is also a chance to connect with the community and recognise those making a positive difference for Indigenous people.

"I feel honoured to be awarded the 2017 NAIDOC Community Award. It is my passion to educate others about my culture and history so to be recognised for doing something that I love is very special to me."

In Melbourne's West, Jude Nicholson, Manager Financial Security, enjoyed the sense of community she experienced at the Engaging Brimbank Families BBQ hosted by the Western Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency.

"It was wonderful to see the kids having a ball, kids from all backgrounds - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Middle Eastern and Asian, learning about Indigenous culture through dance and story," she said.

"Providing our children with the opportunity to learn about other cultures from a young age is one of the best ways we can encourage diversity and go some way to breaking down prejudice within our community."

Good Shepherd staff also attended flag raising ceremonies in Frankston, the Mornington Peninsula and St Albans, and supported NAIDOC Family Days at Collingwood Children's Farm and Nairm Marr Djambana, Frankston.

Shayden Bloomfield-Ritchie and Lionel Lauch opening the 2017 Frankston and Mornington Peninsula NAIDOC Dinner

Shaydon Ritchie and Lionel Lauch open the 2017 Frankston and Mornington Peninsula NAIDOC Gala Dinner with a deadly didgeridoo performance.