Newcastle's Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities will come together for a family fun day on Monday as part of NAIDOC Week 2017 before City Of Newcastle hosts an event at Newcastle Museum the following day.
NAIDOC Week from 2-9 July will celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) people, with this year's theme, Our languages matter,
promoting the importance of traditional languages as many communities work to preserve them.
Live entertainment, children's rides, market stalls and traditional dance will feature at the NAIDOC Family Fun Day at Smith Park, North Hamilton, which Council has supported with $5000 from the Community Assistance Program.
Members of the local Indigenous community will also have the chance to shape Newcastle's future when council staff conduct activities and survey their visions for the city as part of research to update Newcastle's Community Strategic Plan.
"I encourage the whole community to take part in NAIDOC Week festivities and reflect on the cultures of the Awabakal and Worimi peoples -- the traditional custodians of the Newcastle local government area," Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.
"We remain committed to the principles and actions adopted by Council in 1998 and continue to work towards closing the gap in employment, economic participation, health and education.
"I'd also like to encourage the community to complete the surveys on Monday and take part in the engagement activities to help us form a roadmap to guide our priorities for the next decade."
The family fun day will begin with a flag-raising ceremony at Gregson Park, Hamilton, from where a procession will march to Smith Park via Beaumont and Donald streets.
Council will also celebrate NAIDOC week with a special event at the Newcastle Museum on Tuesday from 11am-1pm.
Open to council staff and the public, the celebration will include traditional dance, bush tucker tasting, traditional weaving and an Aboriginal science exhibition.
NAIDOC is an acronym for National Aboriginal and Islanders Day Observance Committee.
Newcastle’s 1998 Commitment to local Aboriginal communities underpins Council’s reconciliation process. The Guraki Aboriginal Advisory Committee formed in 1999 continues to help council with a diverse range of civic processes and activities to promote reconciliation and improve social outcomes and services.