NAIDOC For Our Elders – by Bonnie Dukakis  

Like many others, I’m excited by this year’s NAIDOC theme, ‘For Our Elders’. Celebrating our Elders and their roles and responsibilities in our communities, families, and lives is integral.

As the Executive Officer of Koorie Youth Council, we have the honour of working with and representing young people, but we would only be able to do our work with the support of our Elders and those that have come before us. We have the privilege of creating spaces dedicated to young mob but acknowledge that this is only possible with our Elders’ tireless advocacy.

You don\’t have to go far to learn and hear from our Elders. Take the iconic Aborigines’ Advancement League and their wall of Elders. Seeing my nan pictured up there is even more special for me. For others, it might be in your ACCOs and orgs and key community members that have been part of establishing them or working within them and supporting them.

I love that no matter where I go spending time with Elders from different communities, I’ve seen so much support for our young people and the next generation. It\’s about knowing and being away when it is our own time and space, when to listen and learn and when to step up and be heard.

This NAIDOC (and every week), I encourage and challenge everyone to spend some time with your old people and have a cuppa and a yarn. Connect, learn and be inspired. Reflect on the contributions of those in your family and community that are no longer here and honour them. Celebrate those still with us and find ways to continue their legacy.   

Bonnie Dukakis
Executive Officer

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