14 July 2022

During NAIDOC Week, Life Without Barriers' teams attended events held across Australia to celebrate the history, cultures, and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

Image: Image provided by Catherine Leo Photography. An Aboriginal toddler smiling at the camera wearing a black 'pride' t-shirt with an empty Aboriginal flag on it taken at a Life Without Barriers NAIDOC event stall.

Life Without Barriers is proud to have sponsored and supported NAIDOC Week events across the country. We feel privileged to have met local Elders and engaged with local communities whilst celebrating the contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and learning more about their history, culture and practices.

This year’s theme, “Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!” was a call for action to bring about systemic change and to continue to rally around Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Life Without Barriers embraced the opportunity to celebrate and learn from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, supporting our staff to attend the events below.

Gympie Family NAIDOC event - Gubbi Gubbi Land

Life Without Barriers North Coast team attended the Gympie Family NAIDOC event at Gympie Showgrounds, running a stall, activities, and interacting with the community members in attendance.

Here, the team created an art piece, capturing local handprints as a symbol of treaty and reconciliation. An Elder in attendance recognised the artwork as a significant piece. The team was excited to report that it has been requested for agencies and the local council to rotate this artwork and display it!

Image: Two women stand under a Life Without Barriers banner, holding up an artwork with hand prints and text that reads "Get Up, Stand Up, Show Up".

NAIDOC in the Mall – Kaurna Land

Life Without Barriers was exceptionally proud to be part of the City of Adelaide’s 5th NAIDOC in the Mall event, running their Interactive Kaurna Language Activity and encouraging attendees to reflect on their commitment to the NAIDOC 2022 theme.

Attendees could write their commitment on a chalk speech bubble and pose for a photo, or, write their response on a paper speech bubble and glue it on a community artwork. The artwork is now proudly displayed in the Walyu Tutu (Unley) Office Reception.

Phi Theodoros, Resident Artist, Living Arts, was at NAIDOC in the Mall and shared the following.

"This event was a fantastic success and it was wonderful to have our Living Arts and Child, Youth & Families teams working alongside other stallholders like Carclew Youth Arts, Animals Anonymous and Aunty Stephanie Gollan selling her vibrant beaded creations."

A group of Life Without Barriers Staff stand together smiling at the camera. Two people are holding signs that say "Get Up, Stand Up, Show Up" and "Listen Up and Stand Together".

NAIDOC Celebrations - Eora Land

Luke Barnes, State Lead Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Initiatives, attended NAIDOC Week celebrations in Sydney, including a dance performance and the Seven Hills NAIDOC Celebration.

Luke is part of a dance group called Dinanwan's Connection, which originated in Cowra, NSW. Started by Steve Taylor, Warren Williams and Will Ingram, the group now has 60 dancers across NSW. Seven of the dancers from this group performed at the NAIDOC event, including the two youngest dancers, Benji and Tjirra.

Benji and Tjirra, two young Aboriginal dancers from Dinanwans Connection dance group standing together wearing white body and face paint.

At the Seven Hills NAIDOC celebration, Life Without Barriers teamed up with Walkabout Coffee, run by Billy and Loren Duroux, a Bundjalung and Gumbaynggirr husband & wife duo.

Luke Barnes and two Aboriginal men stand together wearing white body paint.

Luke shared his reflections on the events he was a part of and the importance of celebrating NAIDOC Week.

"These events and these photos show we are still here, we are still proud, and we are still one."

"From our young ones to our elders, we stand together as one people under one lore."

"Our old people paved the way and endured the often hidden and silent battle and struggles to give us the opportunities we have today. 

"Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week are times of reverence and respect; we remember the hardships that our people faced, the wrongs that took place in this country, and the strength we have shown to endure, survive and prosper. 

"NAIDOC is the time to celebrate, show our culture, our community's strength and how special and powerful it is. The theme this year., "Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!" could not be any more fitting," said Luke. 

NAIDOC Family Fun Day at Casuarina Pool - Larrakia Land

Life Without Barriers was proud to partner with Larrakia Nation to support the NAIDOC Family Fun Day event at Casuarina Pool. The people we support and our staff got involved in celebrating and learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture with a range of activities at the event.

A young girl wearing a red top and holding an orange ball stands next to a woman in a polo with glasses on her head. Both are smiling at the camera.

During the festivities, everyone enjoyed a performance of traditional Aboriginal music and dancing.

An Aboriginal woman and two children are wearing all read and dancing. Behind them is a stage with an Aboriginal man wearing white face and body paint playing the digeridoo.

Kerrin Schallmeiner, Marketing & Communications Disability, Aged Care and Mental Health, attended the event and shared the following;

"It was wonderful to see such a huge turnout at NAIDOC Week events across Darwin this year. They continue to play a critical role in celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and identity. A big shout out to our Cultural Lead, Damien Mick, for his involvement in coordinating this event."

NAIDOC South Australia March – Kaurna Land

Life Without Barriers was proud to march with several hundred people as part of the annual NAIDOC South Australia March. The teams listened to the impassioned speeches at Parliament House, reflecting on this year's theme of "Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!"

After the march, we enjoyed supporting the stalls and entertainment at the Family Fun Day event in Tarndanyangga and listening to speeches at Parliament House.

"Many of the staff commented on how incredible the turn-out was for the march this year and how wonderful it was to have so many of us gathered to march together from programs in South Australia," said Phi Theodoros, Resident Artist, Living Arts.

Life Without Barriers staff stand together in a large group outdoors. Many are holding the Aboriginal flag.

Darwin NAIDOC March - Larrakia Land

Life Without Barriers staff and people we support through Supported Independent Living and our day programs were proud to march together at the Darwin NAIDOC march. Everyone enjoyed the positive atmosphere and the performances and speeches that followed.

Damien Mick, Northern Territory Lead, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Initiatives, delivered a Reconciliation speech and reflected on this year’s theme, sharing his hopes and vision for the future of Reconciliation in Australia.

A crowd sits under a pavilion watching a group of Aboriginal women dancing.

"Damien did a fantastic job on his inspirational Reconciliation speech at the end of this year’s march. The spirit of NAIDOC remains strong in Darwin, with thousands turning out for the march chanting this year’s theme – Get Up!  Stand Up!  Show Up – and we sure did!" said Kerrin Schallmeiner.

Murray Bridge NAIDOC Family Fun Day – Ngarrindjeri Land

The Living Arts Van and two Life Without Barriers stalls became a central focal point at Monday’s Family Fun Day event in Murray Bridge on Ngarrindjeri land. Staff across Child, Youth & Families, Carer Assessment, Placement Support, and Living Arts programs all worked together on our stalls and the community BBQ.

A woman swearing a Life Without Barriers black polo with an Aboriginal design on it stands in front of a stall with signs. The signs say 'Get Up, Stand Up, Show Up'

The stalls featured a range of dynamic and creative activities, including faux stained glass, window flags and rainbows. The "Weaving Words” project reflected on the Reconciliation Week Theme “Be Brave, Make Change”, and the Interactive Kaurna Language Activity taught attendees the Kaurna names for five different Australian Animals.

A woman stands behind a table with a craft activity set up. A child stands in front of the table completing the activity.

There was also a First Nations Book Nook, thanks to the Education Unit and their Travelling Suitcase filled with amazing books written by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander authors.

A man and two women sit on a rug with a pile of picture books. They are holding picture books and sit in front of a sign that says Be Brave.

Shellharbour & Koonawarra NAIDOC Celebrations - Tharawal land

Adam Towney and Gayle Cruickshank, Cultural Support Specialists, ran stalls at the Shellharbour and Koonawarra NAIDOC celebrations. They both enjoyed engaging with the community and connecting with local Elder Aunty Linda.

Adam Towney and Gayle wearing black polos with an Aboriginal design on them, standing at a Life Without Barriers stall.

Tweed NAIDOC event - Bundjalung Land

Shannon Mackie, State Manager Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Cultural Support, Leadership & Governance and Tyne Smith, Cultural Support Specialist, engaged with the local community at the Tweed NAIDOC event.

Tyne Smith and Shannon Mackie running an activity on a table with community members at the Tweed NAIDOC event.

They also ran a guessing competition for attendees to challenge themselves with during the event.

A young boy and his mother are doing an activity with paper and pens on a table.

NAIDOC March and Tamworth NAIDOC Family Fun Day - Kamilaroi Land

Life Without Barriers Cultural Support Staff joined the NAIDOC March in Tamworth, followed by the Family Fun Day event.

Tamworth NAIDOC Family Fun Day was an action-packed event with over 30 stalls. The crowds were excited to celebrate NAIDOC Week with over 1000 people in attendance.

At the Family Fun Day, the team ran a stall, speaking to local community members about the services available at Life Without Barriers. Many attendees were interested to learn more about how Life Without Barriers is connecting children to culture. The team was also delighted to talk to a number of Carers, young people and people with a disability that we support who stopped by the stall to say hello.

"It was wonderful to engage in the local community and answer questions about our service," said Lucina Porter, Cultural Support Specialist.

Four women stand together as a group smiling at the camera. In front of them is a table with flyers.

NAIDOC Day - Yuggera Land

Life Without Barriers Staff joined the NAIDOC Day at Kingston Butter Factory. At the event the team ran a stall, speaking to local community members about the services available at Life Without Barriers. They also had a rock painting activity on the go, which was very popular with children, teens and adults! 

The event was a fantastic opportunity to make connections with community members, other allied service providers, and children and young people in need of support.

“It was great to see so many community members take part, and what a great crowd! Our rock painting activity was a hit and we loved meeting people from all across the region. We loved chatting to them about foster care and what we do at Life Without Barriers. Such a wonderful day, we are looking forward to next year!” Said Linda Innes, Carer Assessment, Recruitment, Engagement Coordinator.

A woman wearing a Life Without Barriers jacket standing in front of a table with a rock painting activity.

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