UNITINGCARE Elanora hosted a traditional lunch event as part of National Aboriginal and Islanders Day of Observance Committee (NAIDOC) celebrations on Thursday.
The Shellharbour City-based aged care facility invited members from the Aboriginal community, Uncle John Button, Fred’s Bush Tucker food and the Illawarra Flame Tree Dancers to participate and share their stories.
The annual event is a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, aiming to recognise the important role indigenous Australians played in forming the country’s history.
Elanora service manager Walter De Ruyter said the event reflected this year’s theme of NAIDOC week, Serving Country: Centenary and Beyond.
“It’s about looking at the Aboriginal involvement in the country’s military services,” he said.
“A lot of people don’t realise that many Aboriginal people played a role in various military wars throughout history and because they weren’t considered Australian citizens at that time, their service wasn’t acknowledged until much later.
“So it’s really about understanding the Aboriginal community, hearing their story, recognising their big contribution to Australia and risking their lives for a country that often didn’t treat them well.
“To know your neighbour is to understand their story and NAIDOC Week gives us that opportunity.”
Uncle Peter Button performed a piece on the didgeridoo and did the Welcome to Country, while the Illawarra Flame Tree Dancers performed song and dance.