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Message from head of AA – NAIDOC Week is here

09-Jul-2018

Dear colleagues,

NAIDOC Week is here, officially starting Sunday, 8 July and continuing through to Sunday, 15 July.

NAIDOC Week is a time for all Australians to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements, and to acknowledge the contributions these make to our society and our nation.

Under the theme - Because of her, we can! - NAIDOC Week 2018 will celebrate the contributions that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have made – and continue to make - to our families and communities.

At Aboriginal Affairs NSW, we are committed to supporting community aspirations, which of course includes the aspirations and empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

Through our NAIDOC Week grants we have continued to support local community-led NAIDOC events and activities. This year we have provided grants to 123 community organisations throughout NSW.

The NAIDOC website has a great list of events you can attend; I encourage you to find one near you.

In the Sydney office we will be hosting a range of activities throughout the week and I encourage all of you to be involved in the celebration of NAIDOC Week.

For me, I see the theme ‘Because of her, we can!’ resonate every day. Over 60 % of AA staff are women, a significant number of whom are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, including in senior leadership roles.

I also reflect on the many women who have inspired and encouraged me in my community and professional life. From my mother who “motivated” me to leave my home town and pursue a career in the NSW public service; to Aunty Christine Mumbler, an important early mentor who believed in me and encouraged me to keep going whenever I became disheartened; my dear friend Carol Kendall who taught me so much about the virtues of humility and selflessness; the amazing Anita Heiss, Terri Janke, Sonja Stewart and Larissa Behrendt, who I first met when we were university students together, and who are now, not only leaders in their chosen professions, but amongst our State’s most influential community leaders; and to my daughter Pip who makes me proud every day. Because of these, and the many other incredible women who have touched my life, I can.

NAIDOC Week is a busy time of year, but please do take the time to attend an event. I look forward to attending the NAIDOC ball with many of you on Friday 13th.

Jason Ardler
Head of Aboriginal Affairs NSW


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