NAIDOC COMMUNITY FLAG RAISING: Mayor Mick Curran, Aunty Lillian Burke, Kev Starkey, Dave Thomas and Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien yesterday.
NAIDOC COMMUNITY FLAG RAISING: Mayor Mick Curran, Aunty Lillian Burke, Kev Starkey, Dave Thomas and Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien yesterday. Josh Preston

Gympie gets exclusive spot in Aussie NAIDOC celebrations

GYMPIE will be just one of four locations around Australia to participate in a special 2019 NAIDOC week event at the Gympie Central Shopping Centre tomorrow morning.

The announcement came from local indigenous community member Kev Starkey during the NAIDOC community flag raising at Nelson Reserve yesterday.

Mr Starkey said Gympie had been chosen alongside Brisbane, Darwin and Townsville as the four nationwide Woolworths stores to "officially recognise” NAIDOC and reconciliation at the store from about 8:30am.

He invited community members to attend and help give Gympie strong representation.

The flag raising event saw members of the community "come together to raise the Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Australian flags in harmony”.

Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien and Mayor Mick Curran delivered speeches, while Pastor Dave Thomas blessed the three flags.

Mr O'Brien and Cr Curran joined Cooloola Aboriginal Services Incorporated president Aunty Lillian Burke in raising the flags.

Cr Curran said the event was a "testament to the incredible work” of Aunty Lillian and other indigenous community leaders to "shine a light” on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and achievements.

The Gympie NAIDOC program continues with the Woolworths recognition before a Family Fun Day celebration at the Gympie Showgrounds Pavilion on Friday from 9:30am to 2pm.

The Fun Day will feature entertainers including the Wakka Wakka Dance Troupe, Jon Vea Vea, Groove Somoko and Jamie Dunn & Agro, as well as song groups, a yarning circle, kids corner, animal farm and jumping castle, art and crafts, food and drink and "loads” of stalls.

The festivities conclude with the NAIDOC Dinner Dance at the Gympie Civic Centre on Saturday night, featuring a live band and "Murriaoke”, or "karaoke with a twist”.

Tickets cost $40 and cover all entertainment and meals, including a two course dinner provided by Kingston House.

Tickets are available through qtix.com.au or the Gympie Civic Centre box office. Doors open 6pm and dinner commences at 7:30pm.

Gympie Times


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