The Dubbo Community NAIDOC Ball 2022 was held on Saturday, 3rd September at the Dubbo RSL Club. This event hosts the Dubbo Community NAIDOC Awards, and creates a space to highlight and celebrate the efforts of First Nations’ peoples within Dubbo and nearby communities.

The event officially kicked off with a Traditional Welcome to Country in Wiradjuri song and language by Uncle Lewis Burns and Aunty Di Mcnaboe. This was followed by Talbragar Wiradjuri Aboriginal Corporation Traditional Dancers accompanied by Jamie Mclennan and Adam Wiseman.  

Traditional songs and dances reflected the resilience and prowess of our people. Through cultural dance, the beautiful and powerful nature of our traditional animals was captured, along with a song and dance reflecting on growth.   

DHUB staff member and Talbragar Wiradjuri Aboriginal Corporation performed a cultural dance about the Brolga and its gentle but powerful nature. The dance explored how gracefully within its identity, the Brolga only has to spread its wingspan and stomp its leg for a show of power and strength.    

DHUB had the pleasure of attending and designing the ball’s table decorations, inspired by the theme for NAIDOC Week, Get up! Stand up! Show up!  

We have a proud history of getting up, standing up, and showing up, from the frontier wars and our earliest resistance fighters to our First Nations communities fighting for change today.

The table centrepiece represents a meeting place where our community feels stronger together to continue to Get up, Stand up and Show up. The symbols around the outside represent us, the community members who are in a position every day to advocate for change and start conversations that need to be started. The relationship between First Nations peoples and non-Indigenous Australians needs to be based on justice, equity, and the proper recognition of First Nations peoples’ rights.   

As we all Get up, Stand up and Show up, we prove that as a community, we are stronger together. Standing together gives us the opportunity to use our voices to educate all people, acknowledge and celebrate this country’s rich history and culture. We walk side by side for the benefit of our future leaders to continue the fight with our Ancestors leading the way.  

This year the lucky door tickets were designed by students from DHUB member school, St Johns College. The students from year 10 completed their designs on the back of our in-school NAIDOC Session discussing this year’s theme. They used their knowledge about the theme and put it into art. Whether it was a single symbol or a whole design, students had the opportunity to put their personal feelings and thoughts into their individual works.  

Brooke Mallison, DHUB Coordinator (left), Millie Sutcliffe (right)

DHUB was a Major Sponsor for the Youth Sportsperson of the year award for those under 18 years old. Congratulations to this year’s winner, Millie Sutcliffe.

We would like to congratulate all award winners on the night and thank the tireless work of our friends at the Dubbo Aboriginal Community Working Party and the Dubbo Koori Interagency for collaborating with DHUB throughout the 2022 NAIDOC Week events and activities.

About DHUB

As part of the NSW Government’s OCHRE initiative (Opportunity, Choice, Healing, Responsibility, Empowerment), Bamara leads the work of the Dubbo Opportunity Hub (DHUB), a program for Aboriginal students in Dubbo and Wellington focusing on transitioning from education to careers and employment.