Port Lincoln Aboriginal women embrace NAIDOC theme

Port Lincoln Aboriginal women of all ages have reflected on this year’s NAIDOC Week them of ‘Because of Her, We Can!’

NAIDOC Week is on again and began with the NAIDOC March and opening ceremony on Monday.

This year’s theme looks at the roles Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have played, and continued to play, in Australian society.

Veda Betts is one of many Aboriginal elders in the community who continues to influence a generation of younger Aboriginal women.

Mrs Betts said her biggest influences where her two aunties, who raised her and taught her everything she knows.

She said as an elder it was important to be someone the younger people can look up to.

“Honouring Aboriginal women is the most greatest gift,” she said.

“Being a mother, a grand mother and a great grand mother means we can influence the young ones and empower their lives.”

Mrs Betts was one of 10 people who received NAIDOC Week elders awards at the Elders Luncheon held at the Grand Tasman Hotel on Wednesday.

She said she would like to see a better future for the younger generation, including more opportunities for secondary and tertiary education as well as the youth staying on a straight path, avoiding drugs and alcohol.

Local youth Timeisha Simpson said she is happy to see this year’s theme as Aboriginal women continued to play a big role in the community.

“I think it’s good (for Aboriginal women) to be recognised because they do so much for us,” she said.

This year’s NAIDOC Week has truly been driven by women and local service providers including Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Services.

Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation board co-chair Emma Richards said the majority of organisers have been women, with Warren Clements of the health service also being heavily involved.

The Family Cookout will take place Thursday at Mallee Park at 11am.