Acknowledgment of Country:
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we meet. We would also like to pay our respects to Elders past, present and future.
This week, we recognise indigenous culture during NAIDOC Week (8-15 November). It is a time to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Traditionally, NAIDOC Week celebrations occur in July. Due to the events of 2020, celebrations have shifted to November for this year to continue creating awareness of our country’s indigenous communities.
Afford’s Green Valley Day Program celebrated NAIDOC Week with colour, dance, art and music. Many of the streets around Green Valley have Aboriginal names. Some of these include Arunta, Kinkuna and Naranghi.
NAIDOC Week celebrations began at Green Valley with clients having their faces painted with the colours of the Aboriginal flag.
Staff and clients then welcomed Jason, from the DHARAWAL people, who talked to the group about Aboriginal culture.
Jason asked Afford staff to join him in a cleansing ceremony, as a sign of new beginning for the community. A welcome dance followed with depictions of the kangaroo, emu and eagle. Clients of all abilities joined in the dance and movements.
An important part of the welcome ceremony involved placing clay handprints onto a surface to be kept and recognised as a symbol of solidarity. An Afford jacket was chosen as the surface. Handprints adorn the jacket, which is now displayed proudly in a frame at the Green Valley site.
Throughout the day, clients were supported to complete Aboriginal inspired dot paintings on plywood boomerangs.
Afford encourages an understanding and appreciation of communities and cultures. Clients are supported to learn more about the world around them and the cultures and history that makes up their local community.