Across our operations and the communities where we live and work, we’re celebrating NAIDOC Week and reflecting on this year’s theme ‘For Our Elders’. As well as enjoying events, we’re participating through asking questions, listening and learning about history, culture and Country. We’ve connected with members of our team to understand what For Our Elders means to them.
Ronnee is a Production Operator for Thiess at Curragh North, Blackwater. She is a descendant of Ghungalu Country in Queensland.
What does NAIDOC Week mean to me?
NAIDOC is very important as it’s the one week in the year where all Indigenous Australians come together as one. Not only do we celebrate our culture, but we celebrate our history, and all our achievements – whether it be sporting, academic or in the workforce. We celebrate our Elders and of course our Ancestors for paving the way for all of us.
What does this year’s theme, “For Our Elders”, mean to me?
This year I will celebrate NAIDOC by attending the Blackwater NAIDOC March with my Ghungalu Elders. The Theme “For Our Elders” is a touching one. I feel our Elders hold the magic to our history. When we lose an Elder a little bit of history and magic goes with them. We learn our history and culture through the Elders by learning and storytelling. What they know they pass down so we can pass those stories onto our children and their children. So, it’s important to acknowledge and praise our Elders.
What wisdom and knowledge have I gained from Elders in my community?
Since I moved back home four years ago, I have been learning more about the Ghungalu Country and its surrounding areas such as the Blackdown Tablelands (located west of Rockhampton in Central Queensland) and the areas of Blackwater, Woorabinda, and the three rivers Comet, Mackenzie, and Dawson. Through my Aunty Pat and big brother Duane they have taught me and are still teaching me. I now have more knowledge of my country. I feel very fortunate to be one of the Traditional Owners to be working out here on Curragh North mine site.
How would I encourage others to participate in NAIDOC Week/Honouring our Elders?
I encourage all Australians to go to their local community and check out the NAIDOC events happening in their town and even join in the march. Have a yarn with the local Elders. I feel NAIDOC can be celebrated by everyone and anyone. Stay Deadly.
Thank you to Ronnee for sharing your story. We encourage everyone to get involved in NAIDOC week events!