Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
THE Cockburn Youth Centre played host to the inaugural NAIDOC Youth Ball in early July, embracing the annual Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander celebrations.

Organised by Cockburn Youth Services, about 40 people took part as the Wadumbah dance group performed, DJ Joe Black gunned out the grooves and four-year-old Annali Smith sang We Are Australian in the Yamitji language.

“The youth enjoyed a great night of music, food and lots of dancing and were all dressed to impress,” Cockburn Mayor Logan K Howlett said. “Plans are already under way for next year’s NAIDOC Youth Ball.”

The theme for 2009 NAIDOC Week across Australia was “Honouring Our Elders, Nurturing Our Youth” and encouraged communities to acknowledge the status of Elders as leaders and role models for the young.

National NAIDOC Committee co-chair Ben Mitchell said young people's lives were enriched by the care and mentoring of Elders.

"Our young people are our future and, through their guidance, the Elders encourage them to find and stay on the right path," he said.

With roots tied intrinsically to Aboriginal rights, the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee was formed in 1957 to support and promote Aboriginal Sunday and has since evolved into a week-long recognition of Aboriginal culture.

For the past 52 years, NAIDOC celebrations have been held around Australia in July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

NAIDOCyouthball1.jpg: Cockburn Youth Centre coordinator Mary-Jane Rigby, bookings and activities officer Kristy Mippy, youth outreach worker Bobbie Mizen and youth activity and programs officer Tom Haste at the NAIDOC Youth Ball.

NAIDOCyouthball2.jpg: Michael Colbung, Tegan Colbung and Tiannah Yarran at the inaugural NAIDOC Youth Ball.

NAIDOCyouthball3.jpg: Four-year-old Annali Smith sang We Are Australian in Yamitji at the NAIDOC Youth Ball.

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City of Cockburn

The City of Cockburn celebrates its 30th birthday in 2009, regarded as one of Perth’s fastest growing and culturally-diverse local governments.

With a population of about 80,000, it has grown into one of Perth’s most dynamic and successful areas. The population is made up of a large percentage of children, families and seniors, and a large percentage of people born overseas (28.8%).

As a developing city, Cockburn has a good mix of residential, rural and conservation areas and has more than 2000 businesses. The City of Cockburn, as a council, has a continuing mission to make the area the most attractive place to live, work and visit in the metropolitan area.
Chris Thomas
P: (08) 9411 3551


NAIDOC Youth Ball in Cockburn


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