Michelle Roberts

Michelle Roberts

Minister for Housing and Works; Indigenous Affairs; Heritage; Land Information

    Minister kicks off NAIDOC 2008 celebrations

    6/07/2008 12:00 AM

    Indigenous Affairs Minister Michelle Roberts will officially open NAIDOC 2008 celebrations in Perth today.


    The opening ceremony will include indigenous dancers, bands, workshops, and information stalls and is expected to attract around 3,000 people to Wellington Square in East Perth.


    Mrs Roberts said the word NAIDOC, originally standing for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee, had now come to mean a weeklong celebration of indigenous Australian heritage and culture.


    “What began as a few voices asking for recognition has now grown into a huge chorus,” she said.


    “NAIDOC week is a time for all Western Australians to reflect on our achievement and on the challenges ahead of us.


    “Once such achievement is the Partnership, Acceptance, Learning and Sharing (PALS) program, which has been developed and delivered across the State by the Carpenter Government.


    “Based on the attributes of PALS, the program encourages young people to take a leadership role in strengthening the relationships that exist in their local community between indigenous and non-indigenous people.”


    “Students can then use this new level of understanding, introducing positive change in their life and their community.


    “In only three years some 25,000 students, predominantly at primary school, have been involved in more than 140 PALS projects across WA.”


    The Department of Indigenous Affairs will have a dedicated PALS stall, as well as sponsoring the children’s marquee, which will offer a range of fun and exciting arts and crafts activities for children of all ages throughout the afternoon.


    The opening ceremony precedes a week of events all over Perth that includes art exhibitions, storytelling session, flag-raisings, sports carnivals, arts workshops, a dinner dance, and the grand culmination - the 2008 NAIDOC Ball.


    Minister's office  - 9213 6600