Warwick Police Sergeant Jamie Deacon, Melissa Chalmers, Community Liaison Officer Mandy Bahr, Constable Brad Bennett, Lithia Kusu and Acting Senior Sergeant Shane Reid at the flag raising ceremony to mark the start of NAIDOC week in Warwick.
Warwick Police Sergeant Jamie Deacon, Melissa Chalmers, Community Liaison Officer Mandy Bahr, Constable Brad Bennett, Lithia Kusu and Acting Senior Sergeant Shane Reid at the flag raising ceremony to mark the start of NAIDOC week in Warwick. Jayden Brown

Stories, songs come to life for NAIDOC Week

WARWICK police and indigenous residents have spoken proudly of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture during a ceremony to mark the start of NAIDOC Week celebrations.

The Aboriginal and the Torres Strait Islander flags flew proudly above the Warwick police station after the annual flag raising ceremony yesterday morning.

During the service, Warwick police Sergeant Jamie Deacon spoke strongly about the significance of NAIDOC Week.

“All over the country during NAIDOC week, communities come together to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” he said.

“It is an important opportunity for all Australians to recognise the contributions that indigenous Australians have made to the nation we see today.”

This year NAIDOC Week is following the theme, Songlines – the living narrative of our nation.

Sgt Deacon spoke about the significance of songlines and the Dreamtime.

“It is easy to dismiss these songlines simply as rich traditions of an ancient people,” he said.

“NAIDOC Week however provides all Australians with the opportunity to understand the deeper meaning of the songs and their broader impact on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander society with who we share this land.”

The welcome to country address was given by Melissa Chalmers, who described it as a great honour. “

For me NAIDOC Week is about getting out culture out there,” she said.

“It’s for people to know who we are – our culture and our history.”

Lithia Kusu raised the Torres Strait Islander flag in the ceremony.

She told the Daily News about the significance of NAIDOC Week for Torres Strait Islanders.

“It started on July 1, the Islanders commemorate the day as the coming of light to mark when the London Missionary Society ships landed on Darnley Island in 1871,” she said.

“It’s probably the biggest date in the Islanders’ calendar.”