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15 July, 2021

NAIDOC pride

MACKAY’S proud indigenous communities came together in record numbers to celebrate NAIDOC Week, marking week’s end with a march through the city followed by a day-long festival in Queens Park. The day attracted first nations people from throughout the region and further afield, with stalls, a symbolic flag raising, traditional dances and the introduction of the elected Mr and Miss NAIDOC for 2021.


RESPECT: NAIDOC organisers with Mayor Greg Williamson, Mr and Mrs NAIDOC and traditional dancers from Brisbane at Queens Park

MACKAY’S proud indigenous communities came together in record numbers to celebrate NAIDOC Week, marking week’s end with a march through the city followed by a day-long festival in Queens Park.

The day attracted first nations people from throughout the region and further afield, with stalls, a symbolic flag raising, traditional dances and the introduction of the elected Mr and Miss NAIDOC for 2021.

The Mackay NAIDOC Committee Chairperson Rebecca Budby and her team began organising the event at the beginning of the year, following the cancellation of last year’s event due to COVID.

“Last year it was postponed, then we had like a virtual one in November but it’s nothing like what we have had to organise for today,” Ms Budby said.

“I don’t think I have ever seen such a big crowd. But I think because we missed the NAIDOC last year everyone’s decided to show up today.”

The event included dances by indigenous dance groups, such as the Wakka Wakka tribe who travelled from Cherbourg and Brisbane for their performance.

The celebration also marked the debut of the 2021 Mr NAIDOC Joshua Yow Yeh and Miss NAIDOC Jayla Yasserie, who were chosen for sharing what NAIDOC meant to them.

“We went to an interview night and we got asked a series of questions about general cultural knowledge and what NAIDOC means to us and what the theme of NAIDOC means to us,” Mr Yow Yeh said.

“And they elected the Mr NAIDOC and Miss NAIDOC the next night after that.”

The Mackay NAIDOC committee was overwhelmed with support from the Mackay community.

“Being Heal Country as the theme this year, I think it’s brilliant that we’ve had so many people come and make those connections with family that they hadn’t seen for months or weeks, as well as with the country.” said Chairperson Rebecca Budby.

“I would like to thank all the stallholders for supporting the event this year."


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