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2021 Babinda NAIDOC Celebration

15/October/2021

On Friday, September 10, the town of Babinda came together to acknowledge and celebrate NAIDOC Day with the theme of “Heal Country!”.

NAIDOC celebrations are held to celebrate the history, culture, and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 

The NAIDOC 2021 theme – Heal Country! – calls for “all of us to continue to seek greater protections for our lands, our waters, our sacred sites, and our cultural heritage from exploitation, desecration, and destruction.”
 
The Babinda NAIDOC celebration was held in the Great Hall at Babinda P-12 State School with many from the township and surrounds turning out for the community event.
 
Yidinjii Elder Aunty Annie Wonga was present for the occasion and former Babinda State School student Dr Darryl Murgha delivered the key note address.
 
Dr Murgha is a Gunggandji Elder who grew up in Babinda and did all of his schooling at Babinda State School.
 
Earlier this year, James Cook University admitted Dr Murgha to the award of Honorary Doctor of Letters for his outstanding contributions to the documentation of cultural heritage in Far North Queensland, education in cultural heritage, and the establishment of Indigenous enterprises.

The spectators were then treated to performances by the Wanjuru-Yidinjii Aboriginal Dancers and the Tituil Dham Torres Strait Island Dancers.

2021 Babinda NAIDOC Celebration

The Wanjuru-Yidinjii Aboriginal Dancers (above).

The Wanjuru-Yidinjii Aboriginal Dancers performed a number of dances, including ones that told stories about the Cassowary and fishing.

The Tituil Dham Torres Strait Island Dancers also performed a number of dances, including a family dance, a ‘couples’ dance and a fast dance to finish.

2021 Babinda NAIDOC Celebration
The Tituil Dham Torres Strait Island Dancers (above).

There was also a fashion show featuring Babinda students as the models, modelling gowns from Murrii Quu Couture, an Indigenous fashion brand that creates original pieces from reclaimed fabric and materials.

The NAIDOC organising committee said they were grateful to the Wanjuru-Yidinjii Aboriginal Dancers, Tituil Dham Torres Strait Island Dancers, Pastor Rodney Minnecon, Aunty Annie Wonga, Dr Daryl Murgha, Cheryl Creed from Murrii Quu Couture, and Indigenous Artist Kel Williams for their contributions to the celebration.

The event was supported by Cairns Regional Council and Babinda Taskforce.

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