The Cootamundra Aboriginal Working Party (CAWP) and Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council (CGRC) came together on Wednesday 6 July 2022 to mark NAIDOC Week with a flag raising ceremony held at the Council Administration Centre in Wallendoon Street Cootamundra.
The ceremony was attended by members of CAWP, Councillors, CGRC Staff and interested residents, where Peter Beath Treasurer CAWP, opened the proceedings with the Welcome to County. Peter spoke to all in Wiradjuri language. CGRC mayor Charlie Sheahan spoke about the importance of NAIDOC Week and Council’s commitment to advocate for the rights and interests of Indigenous people.
“Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are the First Peoples of this land. Council, along with the Cootamundra Aboriginal Working Party, is committed to supporting the efforts of non-Aboriginal people in understanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and values,” he said.
Mayor Sheahan also said, “Council’s vision, Our Place, Our Future, encompasses all in our communities. This vision includes everyone, and we celebrate and embrace our First Nations Peoples, recognising this was their place first, and ensuring the future provides all with recognition of their achievements, their history and fostering their culture. And, with them, we commit ourselves to be responsible custodians of this land.”
Murray Izzard played the didgeridoo whilst Mayor Sheahan and CAWP Chairperson Colina Meadows raised the flags.
A morning tea was held afterward in the Cootamundra Town Hall where visitors could view beautiful Wiradjuri Windows and The Longest Night painting.
These Windows are a tribute to Melinda Bell for keeping the old stories alive and to those children of the stolen generations who endured their years at the Cootamundra Aboriginal Girls Training Home. The Windows tell a Children’s story about The Longest Night and were created by the very talented Dianne Berkrey.
1 Peter Beath Welcome to Country
2 Murray Izzard – Didgeridoo
3 Colina Meadows and Mayor Sheahan
Mayor Sheahans Speech – video
Flag Raising Video