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Monday, 15 July 2019
NAIDOC Week - Message From Michele

As you may or may not be aware, this week is NAIDOC WEEK and as a team manager of a couple of my sons sporting teams I have been involved with helping decide how we may pay our respects in this weekend matches (our Indigenous Round).  It allowed me the time to further understand NAIDOC week so we could better educate our young players as to why we would be starting our matches a little differently this week.

NAIDOC Week serves as a time to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This week is celebrated by everyone and the YMCA has been committed to this celebration through many activities including, but not limited to, our Children’s Services teams who have been busy with some wonderful art and singing activities. I was incredibly lucky to learn a song the children sing as acknowledgement to country each morning in our Early Learning Centres that truly inspired me.

What I also learnt is that each year NAIDOC Week has a theme.  This year being Voice, Treaty, Truth. Voice means ensuring our First people have a say in parliament, Treaty means the coming together after disagreement and Truth refers to the need to be open and truthful about the past. All wise words for us to consider and reflect. Personally seeing ‘Voice’ come into play with YMCA Youth Parliament last week and listening to young people from all nationalities share their thoughts and dreams on a better society gives me great hope.

This week has been a busy and exciting with the July Global Study students about to head off on their adventures, the January Global Study programme opening, our YMCA 175 team starting to finalise their trip (please watch the video below – it is sooo good!), our staff and volunteer awards being reimagined, the staff and volunteer awards night being locked in and who can forget the Trivia night tomorrow night at Orchard Rd that will help raise funds for Open Doors. What a week!

As I sign off for another fortnight, may I ask you to take a few moments to reflect on NAIDOC week and its themes.

Michele Rowse

Chief Experience Officer