Lyndon team participates in NAIDOC Week launch in Dubbo

Photo Courtesy of Dubbo Liberal

Lyndon’s AOD Practice Manager Michelle Warn participated recently in the NAIDOC week launch memorial walk in Dubbo.

A proud Wiradjuri woman, Michelle skills to help Lyndon clients are underpinned by her connection to language and culture, so services are delivered in a culturally appropriate way.

Michelle is working with the team at the Royal Flying Doctor service (RFDS) – providing practice supervision, training and consultation to RFDS staff so they are better equipped to help people who have issues with alcohol and other drugs, in the most remote areas of NSW.

The following appeared in the Daily Liberal July 3, 2017

The rain didn’t stop a crowd from gathering at the rotunda on Monday to mark the beginning of NAIDOC Week.

NAIDOC Week began nationally on Sunday. This year the theme is Our Languages Matter, highlighting the role language plays in cultural identity.

According to the latest Census data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there are 10,500 Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people in Dubbo. Of those, 94 per cent said English was the only language spoken at home.

However, Dubbo Regional Council’s Aboriginal liaison officer Lionel Wood said the Wiradjuri language was on the rise in Dubbo. The growing interesting in the native language came from courses such as those held at the Yarradamarra Centre, Mr Wood said.

To celebrate NAIDOC Week in Dubbo, a Memorial Walk was held from the rotunda to Dubbo Regional Council for a flag raising ceremony. From there everyone gathered to “have a nice chew and a good yarn”, Mr Wood said.

It was important for communities to know the importance of the Indigenous culture, he said.

“It’s a great community to be a part of. We’re very lucky in Australia that we’re very diverse culture-wise. To have people show interest in our culture just as much as we show interest in their culture is a real bonus.”

People were getting more and more curious about the Indigenous ways, Mr Wood said.

That curiosity was something the Aboriginal liaison officer was hoping would continue throughout NAIDOC Week.

“I’d like people just to be mindful and be curious and go out and ask some elders, go out and get involved. Just enjoy the celebrations,” Mr Wood said.

“Don’t be against it, just get out and celebrate Indigenous ways and the Indigenous culture. We’re one of the oldest culture in the world and we’re very lucky we do get a week a year just to celebrate.”

In the late 18th century there were about 250 distinct Indigenous languages. Today about 120 languages are still spoken with many at risk of being lost.

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