NAIDOC celebrations to go ahead across the region
THE annual celebration of Australia's indigenous people will be postponed in the Central Highlands.
In line with the National NAIDOC Committee's decision, the Central Highlands Regional Council has postponed this year's NAIDOC Week celebrations, which were expected to be held from July 5-12.
Central Highlands Regional Council Mayor Kerry Hayes said postponing the event would allow locals to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples at a later date.
"NAIDOC events are an important part of our region's cultural identity and celebration," he said.
"We would like to think that there is an opportunity to recognise this important annual event at a later time rather than just cancelling it.
"This is obviously subject to ongoing developments and we won't know when or how exactly that will look like."
Postponed celebrations include the welcome ceremonies in Blackwater and Emerald.
Mayor Hayes said he understood the disappointment these postponements would cause among the community, but they were made in the interest of public safety.
"We believe the escalating coronavirus crisis would have devastating impacts on First Nations People within our communities, especially our Elders and those with chronic health issues," he said.
"We are in the process of rescheduling our NAIDOC Week 2020 celebrations for towards the end of the year.
"We will continue to work closely with the National NAIDOC Committee and our partners for NAIDOC Week 2020."
For more information about NAIDOC Week, visit the website.