NAIDOC artwork cropped 2.png

Published on 28 June 2024

Keep the fire burning!

A march and free family fun day on Wednesday 3 July at Christies Beach are the centrepieces of this year’s NAIDOC Week celebrations in Onkaparinga.

The march starts from 121 Beach Road at 9.30 and arrives at Rotary Park on the Esplanade for four hours of events for the whole family including music and dance performances, arts and craft, stalls, and an SANFL footy clinic.

This year’s headline act is Dem Mob from the Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands – or APY Lands – in northern South Australia.

The rap trio – freshly back from concerts in Europe and North America – is the winner of five awards at the SA Music Awards including best Hip Hop Act and Best Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Artist.

Running from 7 to 14 July, NAIDOC Week celebrates and recognises the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The 2024 theme is Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud & Proud. The 2024 fire symbol represents connection to Country, to each other, and to the traditions that define Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for all Australians to learn about First Nations cultures and histories,” says Jason Haskett, Onkaparinga’s Team Leader for Arts, Reconciliation and Cultural Development.

“It is an enormous privilege to be part of celebrations for the oldest, continuous living cultures on earth.

“We always see a large number of people to the event and anticipate around 700 to 1,000 people this year.”

The artwork for the 2024 NAIDOC Week poster (featured) is by Samuawgadhalgal, Torres Strait artist Deb Belyea.

“I have depicted the hands of our ancestors that have carefully dropped a burning ember on to a fire. This ember burns hot with intensity, stoking the flames, as it combines with the new fire,” she says.

“Culture is the fire that gives us knowledge, wisdom and purpose. It is our responsibility to maintain, practise and pass on our fire to our future generations.”

The march and family fun day are presented by the Neporendi Aboriginal Forum, with the Southern Elders Advisory Group, the Neporendi Aboriginal Community Centre, Joining Hands and Minds Network member agencies, and the City of Onkaparinga.

The Aldinga library is also hosting a wood-carving event to mark the week on Saturday 13 July.

NAIDOC Week march and family fun day
Beach Road and Rotary Park, Christies Beach
9.30am-2pm, Wednesday 3 July
Further details: Onkaparinga website and Neporendi Aboriginal Forum Facebook page