NAIDOC Week a big success in Port Augusta

ANOTHER week of NAIDOC celebrations has come to a close with a powerful march through the city streets and into Gladstone Square.

The significance of the annual march is to provide an opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to be proud of who they are and to stand up for their rights as the first Australians.

It also allows other Australians to show their respect and support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

NAIDOC Week committee member Lavene Ngatokorua said the march is always a special event in Port Augusta.

"It's something that each year we really strive for," she said.

"A lot of other cities and towns around Australia are talking about using the word 'walk', however we believe that it is a sign of protest and a march is what we want to carry on with.

"Its not a walk, we don't want it watered down."

As usual, the Port Augusta community joined arms to celebrate the annual National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Week.

Running from July 8-12, the week was jam-packed with a record 20 events over five days.

This years theme,'Voice. Treaty. Truth. Let's work together for a shared future'. reflects First Nation peoples enduring quest for a treaty and for a process known as truth-telling.

"It's a really hard theme, one that needs further exploration and further conversation," Ms Ngatokorua said.

"We need a voice in parliament. There has to be that conversation on the table regarding treaty and the conversation regarding truth speaking is important, but that truth speaking has to have respectful conversation."

Last year's new events; the Seated Corporate Breakfast, the Straight Out Show Colour Run and the Yarn Around the Camp Fire were back by popular demand.

Traditional events, including the Flag Raising Morning Tea, Elders Luncheon, Cultural Day and Port Augusta Hospital Open Day, were all well attended, before a sell-out crowd arrived at Central Oval for the NAIDOC Adult Ball on Friday night to close out the week.

"We tried to provide a number of events so that each community member could attend at least one, or where they feel like they have ownership over the events.," Ms Ngatokorua said.

"I just want to thank everyone who was involved. I want to thank the participants, the workers and the community of Port Augusta for turning up to beautiful celebration of Aboriginal culture and showing that we, in Port Augusta, can put on a world class event."

Check out some of The Transcontinental's NAIDOC Week coverage below.