NAIDOC Week has been farewelled with a moving honouring service, community march and a well-attended family fun day.
The honouring service paid homage to all indigenous servicemen and women who had served in all conflicts.
NAIDOC Tamworth committee chairman Marc Sutherland said there was a good turnout across all three events.
“The service was very moving and there were representatives from right across the community, including the RSL, the Tamworth Aero Club as well as a lot of families of Aboriginal people who have served,” he said.
“A lot of families travelled here and we had people from Brisbane and right across the North West who came to be a part of the service. It was really moving to see people come together from such large distances.”
Mr Sutherland said everyone came together for the reason of recognising Aboriginal servicemen and women.
“Highlights were the guest speakers – Uncle Len Waters, who did a smoking ceremony and was the MC, Aunty
Stella Lamb made a speech about her family’s involvement throughout the wars and Mark Atkins played The Last Post on didgeridoo, which really was so powerful to see and hear,” he said.
“It was great to symbolise the connection of both Aboriginal culture and the actual defence force.”
Uncle Terry Stacey also spoke about his service in Vietnam.
There was also a performance by the Gomeroi Dance Company.
“The people found it really significant and very powerful through the dance,” Mr Sutherland said.
The service attracting about 150 people.
The commemoration service could become an annual service.
“Hopefully we can grow on this year’s event and keep moving forward,” Mr Sutherland said.
The service was followed by the community march from Bicentennial Park to Viaduct Park led by special guests riding in World War II jeeps, including war widow Ruby Waters.
“The march was a really positive
and a great representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture,” Mr Sutherland said.
“The family fun day was huge with upwards of 800 people from right across the community.”
All three events were co-ordinated by the NAIDOC Tamworth committee.