Caracaramigen – The Colac Aboriginal Gathering Place – 2018 NAIDOC Week celebration

NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

NAIDOC Week 2018 will celebrate the invaluable contributions that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have made – and continue to make – to our communities, our families, our rich history and to our nation.

Because of her, we can! 

As pillars of our society, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have played – and continue to play – active and significant roles at the community, local, state and national levels.

As leaders, trailblazers, politicians, activists and social change advocates, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women fought and continue to fight, for justice, equal rights, our rights to country, for law and justice, access to education, employment and to maintain and celebrate our culture, language, music and art.

They continue to influence as doctors, lawyers, teachers, electricians, chefs, nurses, architects, rangers, emergency and defence personnel, writers, volunteers, chief executive officers, actors, singer songwriters, journalists, entrepreneurs, media personalities, board members, accountants, academics, sporting icons and Olympians, the list goes on.

They are our mothers, our elders, our grandmothers, our aunties, our sisters and our daughters.

Sadly, Indigenous women’s role in our cultural, social and political survival has often been invisible, unsung or diminished.

For at least 65,000 years, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have carried our dreaming stories, songlines, languages and knowledge that have kept our culture strong and enriched us as the oldest continuing culture on the planet.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women were there at first contact.

They were there at the Torres Strait Pearlers strike in 1936, the Day of Mourning in 1938, the 1939 Cummeragunja Walk-Off, at the 1946 Pilbara pastoral workers’ strike, the 1965 Freedom Rides, the Wave Hill walk off in 1966, on the front line of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in 1972 and at the drafting of the Uluru Statement.

They have marched, protested and spoken at demonstrations and national gatherings for the proper recognition of our rights and calling for national reform and justice.

Our women were heavily involved in the campaign for the 1967 Referendum and also put up their hands to represent their people at the establishment of national advocacy and representative bodies from the National Aboriginal Congress (NAC) to ATSIC to Land Councils and onto the National Congress for Australia’s First Peoples.

They often did so while caring for our families, maintaining our homes and breaking down cultural and institutionalised barriers and gender stereotypes.

Our women did so because they demanded a better life, greater opportunities and – in many cases equal rights – for our children, our families and our people.

They were pioneering women like Barangaroo, Truganini, Gladys Elphick, Fannie Cochrane-Smith, Evelyn Scott, Pearl Gibbs, Oodgeroo Noonuccal, Celuia Mapo Salee, Thancoupie, Justine Saunders, Gladys Nicholls, Flo Kennedy, Essie Coffey, Isabel Coe, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Eleanor Harding, Mum Shirl, Ellie Gaffney and Gladys Tybingoompa.

Today, they are trailblazers like Joyce ClagueYalmay Yunupingu, Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Nova Peris, Carol Martin, Elizabeth Morgan, Barbara Shaw, Rose Richards, Vonda Malone, Margaret Valadian, Lowitja O’Donoghue, June Oscar, Pat O’Shane, Pat Anderson Jill Milroy, Banduk Marika, Linda Burney and Rosalie Kunoth-Monks – to name but a few.

Their achievements, their voice, their unwavering passion give us strength and have empowered past generations and paved the way for generations to come.

Because of her, we can!

NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Aboriginal communities, but by Australians from all walks of life. This event is a great opportunity to participate in and support your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community right here in Colac.

Wednesday the 4th of July 10-11am Bunnings Incursion – School Holiday Activity Colouring. Bunnings Colac.

Saturday the 7th of July RRRTAG have Nancy Bates playing tickets are $15/30 from Cowlick Bookshop Colac


Described by Archie Roach as ‘One of the finest singer-songwriters in this country’. Barkindji woman, Nancy Bates is THE artist to watch in 2018. Her debut album ‘For Your Love’ is one the most anticipated Australian releases, proving Bates’ growth after four years under the wings of Roach and Co. With such rare vulnerability, she reveals herself in song, through deep dived words, and soulful voice.
Be captivated by Nancy Bates.

Sunday the 8th of July – Bunnings fundraiser sausage sizzle. Bunnings Colac. Volunteers needed for both shifts 9am till 12.30 and 12.15 till 4pm

Sunday the 8th of July – Cross Polination activity with Bronwyn Razzem


INDIGENOUS ART WORKSHOPS WITH GUNDITJMARA ARTIST AND MASTER WEAVER AUNTY BRONWYN RAZEM Sunday, July 8 (basket weaving) Sunday, July 22 (bush animals) Both 10am-1pm | COPACC Foyer Cost: Free Bookings: Essential as places are limited. RSVP by Monday, July 2 to or 5232 9418 Enjoy a morning of yarning, weaving and connecting with Gunditjmara artist and master weaver, Bronwyn Razem. Aunty Bronwyn acknowledges the importance of maintaining the cultural knowledge behind weaving and the role this played in times past. She will share some traditional weaving techniques that were passed down by her mother and grandmother. Supported by the Colac Otway Shire Council, Corangamite Catchment Management Authority, and the Barwon South West Indigenous Family Violence Regional Action Group.

Sunday the 8th of July – Because of Her Panel at Anglesea town hall. Bookings on eventbrite through Surf Coast Shire.


Tuesday the 10th, flag raising ceremony at COPACC by Colac Otway Shire 10am followed by Community BBQ and family friendly activities at the Gathering Place 4 Miller Street, Colac.

Wednesday the 11th – Collingwood Childrens Farm by Aboriginal Housing Victoria. Free bus from Forster Street Geelong at 9am.

Friday the 13th Koori Youth Ball Roadtrip. Leaving Colac at 4.45pm on bus returning at 10.15pm . For People aged 12-25. Contact me if you want a free ticket.

Saturday the 14th of July
The Colac Aboriginal Gathering Place supported by Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative are hosting Takoort ngarrang koorok peeneetyong malat-o karreta – All young women will grow to be a Cheifess in their line a NAIDOC week event in line with the national NAIDOC theme Because of her, we can .

Takoort ngarrang koorok peeneetyong malat-o karreta will consist of an afternoon of a Welcome to Country, live music performances from the Deadly Duo and Angus Duo, fingerfood, door prizes all in the beautiful venue on the lake at Colac’s Botanic Cafe, located at 1 Fyans Street, Colac on picturesque Gulidjan Country of the Eastern Maar Nation. This event is to highlight and celebrate the success’ of the local Aboriginal Community and The Colac Aboriginal Gathering Place throughout the year whilst honouring and reflecting on the steps taken by those around us and those who came before us.


There are 5 types of tickets for this event:

Local Aboriginal Community Ticket – If you are a Local Aboriginal Community Member living in the Colac Otway or Corangamite area please contact Ebony Hickey on 0449 948 475 or before purchasing a ticket, there are a limited number of free Local Aboriginal Community Tickets available.


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