Media Release by The Hon Mal Brough MP

Brough welcomes NAIDOC Week (2-9 July)

The beginning of NAIDOC week was welcomed today by Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough.

"The NAIDOC theme for 2006, Respect the past – Believe in the future, reflects the aspirations of many Indigenous Australians. It is about the need to mobilise Indigenous traditions and values to build a better future," Mr Brough said.

"This week is not only an occasion for Indigenous people to celebrate their identity and culture, but it also gives all Australians the chance to join in those celebrations.

"NAIDOC events will be held in communities, schools and workplaces around the country and I encourage all Australians to get involved in their local events."

The Australian Government has been supporting NAIDOC events since the 1970s, providing funding for a diversity of local and regional NAIDOC activities through Indigenous Coordination Centres (ICCs). The Government is also the main sponsor of the National NAIDOC Ball and Awards, to be held this year on 8 July in Cairns, Qld.

At last year’s Awards and Ball in Adelaide the organising committee handed Mr Aden Ridgeway the NAIDOC Message Stick and custodianship to carry forward future NAIDOC events.

"I would like to thank Mr Ridgeway and his committee for their commitment to making sure that this years NAIDOC Week celebrations will be a great success," Mr Brough said.

"The Howard Government is fully committed to supporting NAIDOC week and I take this opportunity to congratulate all people for their hard work and dedication to these celebrations."