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Gladstone celebrates NAIDOC Week

Aug 11, 2022

Left to Right: Maddison Petrie, Taleigha Salam, Nathan Smith, Hayden Oliver, Mikayla Cook

Our Gladstone branch in Queensland recently celebrated NAIDOC Week. The week-long celebration is a significant event within the Indigenous community as it gathers both present and emerging Indigenous people to come together as a unit within the land we stand on in unity and diversity. 

During the week-long NAIDOC Week celebration, the Gladstone branch got involved in the NAIDOC March and Family Day event. The latter was a great day and a fantastic experience for our young emerging First Nations peoples. Employees witnessed a Welcome to Country by elders, Indigenous songs, traditional dancing and indulged in delicious Indigenous food. The NAIDOC March was a great experience to showcase the Indigenous community walking the streets with flags, body paint, chanting and singing as a unit. Our Indigenous apprentices and trainees also served food to the local community as part of the Family Day event.

NAIDOC, which stands for National Aborigines and Torres Strait Islander Day Observance Committee is traced back to 1920, seeks to increase awareness in the wider community of the status and treatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. NAIDOC Week 2022’s theme was ‘Get Up, Stand Up, Show Up’.

Programmed Business Administration Trainee Karra Benjamin said of this year’s theme, ‘standing side by side with our mob and staying strong for what we believe in, in such strong culture. Getting up, standing up and showing up for one another, day in and day out and continuing to enhance and grow this beautiful culture with the present and emerging Indigenous people and keeping the culture strong.’

Programmed Warehouse Trainee Taleigha Salam said, ‘the theme ‘Get Up, Stand Up, Show Up’, to me means, unity and reconnecting to not only the land but reconnecting with family. Getting up and helping each other out, standing up for each other and showing up for one another.’

The design below was created by Taleigha Salam, her mother Kelli Salam, Karra Benjamin and Security Trainee Noah Saumalu. Taleigha, Kelli and Noah are all traditional owners of the Goreng Goreng people here in Gladstone and Karra belongs to the Badulgal tribe in the Torres Straits. The design represents the ‘equality’ that unifies with the 2022 NAIDOC theme ‘Get Up, Stand Up, Show Up’.

Left to Right: Taleigha Salam and Karra Benjamin

In this design there are Indigenous symbols that represent men, women, respected Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander colours, people gathering, meeting places and the coastal lines that connect the regions. This allows the story of men and women to get up, stand up and show up for each other not only at work but within the community as the Indigenous meeting place is positioned in the middle of the design and the Indigenous ‘people gathering’ symbol is placed on the side of them. This simply outlines that all men and women are welcome to gather at this meeting place. The coastal symbols also allow all coastal connections far and wide to gather at this meeting place. This enhances equality within the workplace and community.

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