New mural unveiled at NAIDOC celebrations in Urunga

A mural created by Urunga youth in conjunction with Aboriginal artist Dean Beale was unveiled at the Neighbourhood Centre this morning as part of NAIDOC week celebrations.

Drawing on the 'coming together' theme for Youth Week 2019, the painting depicts the joining of the two rivers at Urunga with a symbolic representation of the Neighbourhood Centre in the middle as concentric white circles.

Silhouettes along the bottom left and right side are local identities, Dean said, pointing out Micklo Jarrett, Maree Lo Cascio, Leanne Collier and Susie Kelly.

Two of the boys who had participated in making the mural, Malachi and Julian, were on hand to do the unveiling.

They also took charge of cutting up and distributing the large NAIDOC cake afterwards.

Opening the day's festivities earlier, CEO of the Coffs Harbour and District Local Aboriginal Land Council, Nathan Brennan, said that NAIDOC week had its origins in a Day of Mourning first held in 1938.

"It was when a lot of people got together to protest the treatment of Aboriginal people," Nathan said. "Since then, it's evolved into a celebration."

Nathan explained that this year's theme - 'Voice, Treaty, Truth' - relates to the Uluru Statement from the Heart, developed two years ago.

It seeks to give Aboriginal people a voice at federal, state and local levels, so they can speak about matters that impact them and advise government on policy.

"Australia is the only developed country that doesn't have a treaty with its Indigenous people," Nathan said. "Which is a shame. A treaty is about how we work together and move forward into the future."

The day's events included Gumbaynggirr language sessions with Uncle Micklo Jarrett, music by the Gunganbuwala Singers, damper making, dancing and bacon and egg rolls cooked by Urunga Lions Club.