NAIDOC Week Opening Ceremony

Published on Monday, 3 July 2023 at 8:57:00 AM

NAIDOC Week Opening Ceremony 2023, Shire President Address


Welcome distinguished guests.

This week, we celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, not just within our community but across the nation. 

NAIDOC Week is an opportunity to learn about the rich history of the oldest continuing culture on the planet. 

It is an honour to be speaking in front of you today, in what the Shire believes is an important and unifying event.

This year’s theme is ‘FOR OUR ELDERS’. Across every generation, Elders play an important role and hold a prominent place in communities and families. Elders have paved the way, guiding our generations and helping many find the path that’s right for them. 

I recognise that the Elders in our community have experienced mistreatment, one example being the Black Line laws, and have felt great pain from past injustices. To the Elders, I say sorry.

I admire the resilience and deep hearts of Elders, who have had the strength and persistence to endure, passing their knowledge and determination onto the younger generation. Their commitment guides our Indigenous community and benefits everyone. 

I take strength from your example. I believe it is essential that we work together to make sure these things can never happen again, and look forward with optimism to working together on a strong and collaborative future. 

The Shire of Esperance will continue our strong partnership with Esperance Tjaltjraak Native Title Aboriginal Corporation on environmental and cultural projects, aligning with the Healthy Country Plan that Tjaltjraak has in place. 

We appreciate the advice and knowledge our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community so generously provides to the Shire, helping us protect and preserve the land. 

I am grateful for our strong community in Esperance, and congratulate all involved in making today’s celebrations successful. 

Thank you for your time, and enjoy the rest of the celebrations. 

 - Shire President, Ian Mickel 


Shire President

Image: Shire President Address - NAIDOC 2023 Opening Ceremony. Photographer Rosie Henderson

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