Historic first at Kingaroy's NAIDOC flag-raising ceremony
TO SOME people it was just another flag-raising ceremony, but for one indigenous elder, the event at Kingaroy's NAIDOC celebrations meant so much more.
Blackbutt resident and South Burnett Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation director Val McGrath said the flag-raising ceremony at Kingaroy's Memorial Park was incredibly important to her.
"It is the first time the Aboriginal and Torres Straight lslander flags have been raised in Memorial Park,” Mrs McGrath said.
This comes a month after the first time the indigenous flags were raised at South Burnett Regional Council's forecourt during Reconciliation Week.
Mrs McGrath said having the flags included alongside the Australian flag in the South Burnett was a momentous occasion.
"It represents us as people and what we've been through and what we are trying to achieve,” she said.
During this week of NAIDOC celebrations, the Aboriginal elder said there was still a lot that indigenous Australians were trying to achieve.
"Treaty for one thing. That's been on the agenda since day one,” Mrs McGrath said.
"We are the only country that doesn't have a treaty.”
She said it was important to educate the future leaders about their indigenous heritage.
"We want to give the kids back their culture,” Mrs McGrath said.
"Culture was taken away from a lot of people my age. We weren't allowed to practice.”
For Mrs McGrath, NAIDOC celebrations meant being able to put indigenous culture on show.
"We want to share the positive sides of our culture,” she said.