Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

NAIDOC event proves inspiring

Aboriginal heritage celebrated in time for special week.

July 9, 2014 3:15am

Auntie Kella Robinson read stories and displayed a rare emu eggs to some attentive children.


Emotional and inspiring were the words used to describe the second annual NAIDOC event held at the Kyabram Bocce Club last Wednesday.

More than 50 people ate, laughed, listened and acknowledged the indigenous cultures and heritage of the Kyabram district during an informal lunch, which ran an hour overtime.

Special guest speaker Alf ‘‘Uncle Boydie’’ Turner stole the show as he spoke about the exploits of his grandfather William Cooper.

William Cooper was an aboriginal who worked tirelessly to gain formal recognition of his people from the Australian government.

Before the 1960s Australia’s indigenous population was not recognised as citizens, were not allowed to vote and were not included in census figures.

Mr Cooper persuaded various church leaders to recognise Aboriginal Sunday starting in 1940, which later became National Aborigines Day and eventually NAIDOC week, a celebration of indigenous culture and history throughout Australia.

Famously Mr Cooper was the only non-government leader to officially voice public opposition to the Nazi attacks on the Jews before and during the World War II.

Read the full story in the print edition of the Kyabram Free Press.

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