CELEBRATING the culture of the Gomeroi people has been the focus of Tamworth's NAIDOC events this week.
From homemade chalk drawings on driveways to an exhibition of artwork from all ages, the week has managed to uplift spirits and shine a light on the Indigenous community, despite official events being cancelled.
The national NAIDOC Week has been postponed to November amid the COVID-19 crisis, but local groups have been working hard to commemorate the traditional dates.
Bumbira Arts and Culture Program project officer Paris Knox, who is also on the city's NAIDOC committee, said plans for a July event had to be changed, but not given up on.
"The committee here in Tamworth wanted to plan for the November week and make the events big, but also wanted to recognise the history of NAIDOC," she said.
"We celebrate our culture in all days and all weeks, but especially this week we wanted to acknowledge NAIDOC was meant to be this week."
NAIDOC celebrations were scheduled for July 5 to July 12, but gathering restrictions forced the national committee to postpone.
The Bumbira Art and Culture group had already partnered with the Tamworth Regional Gallery to create an exhibition of Indigenous artworks, and decided to follow it through despite the pandemic.
"The art is just amazing," Ms Knox said.
The works come from local Indigenous students right through to Elders, and are based on the NAIDOC theme for 2020, 'Always Was, Always Will Be'.
"They all put in their own unique tastes and take on what NAIDOC means to them, and how they connect to the theme from a spiritual, cultural and personal perspective," Ms Knox said.
The exhibition is on display at Ray Walsh House until August 3.
She said the Tamworth NAIDOC committee had also encouraged people over the week to do chalk drawings in their driveways, make Aboriginal flags and hang them in their homes, as well as take to social media to post an appreciation for an Indigenous person or business.
The official NAIDOC week is set to run from November 8 to 15.