THE Illawarra's NAIDOC Week celebrations will culminate at an award ceremony in Kiama on Saturday night.
Now in their fifth year, the Illawarra Regional NAIDOC Awards honour and acknowledge the achievements of Aboriginal people and organisations in the Kiama, Shoalhaven, Shellharbour and Wollongong Local Government Areas.
Awards are presented in five categories; Female and Male Elder of the Year, Worker of the Year, Organisation of the Year, Male and Female Young Achiever of the Year and Community Representative of the Year.
There is also an Outstanding Contribution to Reconciliation Award open to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.
"The awards are a really great end to what has been a great lot of NAIDOC celebrations," Kiama Municipal Council manager of community and cultural development Nick Guggisberg said.
"The awards are also a great way to bring the non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal communities together and strengthen the ties and connections between them. That's one of the reasons we introduced the reconciliation award."
People can nominate individuals or groups they feel are worthy of recognition throughout the year.
The nominations are then reviewed by a panel of representatives from all four LGAs.
Shellharbour City Council Aboriginal community liaison officer Veronica Bird said the awards were also a valuable opportunity for members of the Aboriginal communities from across the Illawarra to meet.
"It's great for the different Aboriginal communities to get together and show each other what we're doing.
"It's also a great opportunity for some of our Elders, who might not travel out of their own area as much, to meet people."
The Illawarra Regional NAIDOC Awards will be held on Saturday night at The Pavilion, Kiama.
For more details, phone 4232 0444.