Be Brave. Make Change.
This year's Reconciliation Week theme is a call to arms for everybody, and Indigenous leaders in Tamworth were united in their calls for a better future for all on Friday.
Marc Sutherland - the first Gomeroi person elected to Tamworth Regional Council - said it's important the community continues to work together to address issues leading to disparity.
"The reality is, that the disparity has been caused by previous policies, and Reconciliation Week is an important week for us all to look at what our current commitment is, and ask 'is it enough?'," he said.
"Hopefully as a council, we can provide some really meaningful direction to help support and lead our community in a brighter way for a brighter future."
The life expectancy for Aboriginal people today is still 10 years less than non-Aboriginal counterparts, Cr Sutherland said.
"And we know by looking around our community, that it's even more," he said.
"As a wise man once said 'it's time for us to make change, we have to change the way we eat, we have to change the way we live and we have to change the way that we work together' because the old way wasn't working.
"It's up to us to make the change for us all to survive, so be brave, let's make a change."
A flag raising ceremony was held on Friday, which was the anniversary of the 1967 referendum.
The referendum saw more than 90 per cent of Australians vote to amend the constitution to give the government power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and to include them in the national census.
It followed National Sorry Day, which was on Thursday, commemorating the history of forcible removals of Aboriginal children and its effects.
Reconciliation Week concludes next Friday, on the anniversary of the Mabo Decision, when the Australian High Court overruled the notion of 'terra nullius' meaning 'land belonging to no one'.
The legendary Buddy Knox and emerging talent Annmarie Maguire sang in traditional language at the ceremony, and Kamilaroi Man Len Waters conducted the Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony.
The talented Mark Atkins played the didgeridoo and the Gomeroi Dance Company performed traditional dance.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
- Bookmark northerndailyleader.com.au
- Make sure you are signed up for our breaking and regular headlines newsletters
- Follow us on Twitter
- Follow us on Instagram
- Follow us on Google News