Young celebrates Aboriginal culture and NAIDOC Week | Photos

A young group of Aboriginal dancers including Makali Tonpi, Tijani Tonpi,
Stewart James, Jerakye Charles, Alarah Charles, Aleaha Charles, Lateisha
Charles, Bella Charles and Jyedan Murphy performed at
Wednesday's NAIDOC Expo. Absent is Samarah Hamilton
A young group of Aboriginal dancers including Makali Tonpi, Tijani Tonpi, Stewart James, Jerakye Charles, Alarah Charles, Aleaha Charles, Lateisha Charles, Bella Charles and Jyedan Murphy performed at Wednesday's NAIDOC Expo. Absent is Samarah Hamilton

Hundreds of people on Wednesday gathered at Young PCYC to embrace Aboriginal culture and celebrate NAIDOC Week.

Representatives from health, education and community services were on deck to provide information on the day, which also showcased Aboriginal culture in Young.

The event was officially opened with a traditional smoking ceremony, a Welcome to Country was said in Wiradjuri language by Tori Apps, and a young group of Aboriginal dancers performed.

Young TAFE Aboriginal engagement coordinator Stewart James helped organise the event, along with a steering committee that was formed after last year's Koori Health Day in Young.

He said he was hugely pleased with the amount of people who showed their support to the event.

"We're very surprised by the turnout of the people, I'm really pleased," Stewart James said.

"A big thanks to everyone involved, without the steering committee we wouldn't be able to bring it together."

One of the highlights of the day was a group of Aboriginal dancers, ranging in ages from Kindergarten to Year 5, performing for the first time.

Mr James helped organise the dance and was hugely proud.

We're very surprised by the turnout of people and services, I'm really pleased.

Stewart James

"We only had one practice. We came here Saturday evening and went through it a few times and they picked it up. The plan is to pick it up from here. It's something that Young has been looking for for its cultural practice," he said.

"As someone who knows a bit about it I can support them to be better at it. It's really my goal, at some stage, to step away. I don't own the dance, culture is owned by all of us and it's something they'll take ownership of one day."

Representatives from Hilltops council, Young police and the event's steering committee spoke about the importance of NAIDOC Week and Aboriginal culture in Young.