NAIDOC creating the leaders of tomorrow
EIDSVOLD lit up on Friday night as the town came together for NAIDOC Week to celebrate the region's indigenous heritage.
The evening's host, Eidsvold State School deputy principal Preston Parter, said the event brought people from all walks of life together to better understand the significance of NAIDOC.
"I grew up in North Queensland and it was pretty tough - there wasn't a whole lot going on,” Mr Parter said.
"Personally, NAIDOC is about acknowledging my ancestors and the work they have done.
"The way they acted and the humility they showed in the community was the stepping stone for us to be successful.
"They strived really hard to lay the foundations for what we're doing today.
"It honours their legacy.”
The night was filled with food, drink, dance and good old-fashioned conversation, and the community paused to honour the contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Mayor Rachel Chambers was there enjoying the festivities and said events like this were a tool for promoting understanding and respect.
"NAIDOC Week serves as a point in time that we all stop to celebrate the history, culture and achievement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” Cr Chambers said.
"I thought this year's theme was fabulous as it paid homage to their history on a much more personal level.
"The stories had enormous meaning and sentimental value.
"Eidsvold State School's celebration was a brilliant tribute to those women who had empowered others and a fabulous night all round.”
The school has long championed the development of the town's indigenous youth.
Its Yumbin program has been instrumental in changing students' attitudes toward health, well-being and education.
Mr Parter said their philosophy was to create the leaders of tomorrow.
"Young adults often don't understand the impact and importance of these celebrations until they're a bit older and have families themselves,” he said.
"We want our kids from an early age to understand the responsibility they have.
"We're not trying to grow kids, we're trying to grow the next generation of elders.”