MIDLAND’S annual October NAIDOC celebration honoured Elders from the Indigenous community at Weeip Park on Tuesday.
The event attracted more than 65 different stalls from local government, community services, Indigenous businesses, and food trucks spanning across Weeip Park from Morrison Road across Junction Parade and down to The Crescent.
The temperature was a warm low-20s throughout the event, reaching 24 degrees by 2pm, but the overcast weather didn’t interrupt any of the activities which included live music, dancing, an art competition, face painting and play areas for kids.
The theme of this year’s NAIDOC is ‘For our Elders’, so the event focused on honouring the Elders of the Midland and greater City of Swan area. A marquee was erected in front of the main stage reserved specifically for the community Elders, where morning tea and other food was provided.
One of the organisers of the event, Midland NAIDOC Committee chair and Bibbulmun Boodja man John Mogridge said it’s always wonderful to showcase their Elders, to come together and celebrate community.
“At the end of the day we have our old people there who know and have been through hard times, so it’s always important to keep that at the front and centre of our community.”
He said the reason Midland’s NAIDOC event is held in October is to get away from the rain that commonly effects the mid-year NAIDOC week, and also to encourage younger generations by making it during the school holidays.
“Our young people have to honour Elders because the reality is back in the day, they didn’t have a choice and now young people do have a choice.
“Culturally Elders keep us all in line and keep us going in a straight line,” Mr Mogridge said.
“We have to do this sort of thing to showcase our Elders, to show that they are valued to us, not only individually or as a family group but as a collective community as well.”
There were however, questions raised by attendees about the presence of the emergency services and their vehicles which kids were encouraged to interact with and sound the sirens at the event considering the incarceration rates of Indigenous people.
“That’s a fair call to the individuals. I get both sides of it, but I guess we’ve got to break down barriers at some point,” Mr Mogridge said.