Waroona Elder Robert Jetta welcomes all to celebrate NAIDOC Week and help “Keep the Fire Burning”

Craig DuncanHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Waroona Elder Robert Jetta.
Camera IconWaroona Elder Robert Jetta. Credit: Sean Van Der Wielen/Harvey-Waroona Reporter

Noongar Elder Robert Jetta is welcoming the whole Waroona community to join in with National NAIDOC Week celebrations being hosted in the town this week.

Celebrations kicked off on Monday morning, with a flag raising ceremony at the Waroona Police Station followed by a community march to Memorial Hall.

After the march, the community shared in a morning tea before settling down to traditional Noongar storytelling and art activities hosted by Elders.

Mr Jetta said NAIDOC Week is an important celebration of culture and remembering for his mob as well as for the wider community.

“A lot of people think NAIDOC is just for our mob, but it is for everybody to join in with us,” he said.

“It is for everybody, and we want to share it.”

Mr Jetta said one of the driving things for him is to continue to educate young people, passing on the message and getting them to accept the challenge.

He said involving young people is especially important with this year’s theme of National NAIDOC Week being to “Keep the Fire Burning”.

“That’s what we want to do, keep the story going,” Mr Jetta said.

He said young people today have the chance to keep the story going and make sure culture and tradition is not lost, something he feels has happened in the past.

“The attitude of the wider community is changing,” he said.

“But there’s still a long way to go and that’s for our young people today to continue it on and keep it growing.”

Mr Jetta said he is happy to be in Waroona for these celebrations, calling the area the best place ever.

“It’s a good place to be,” he said.

Communities across the country will continue to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and culture throughout the week, with the Shire of Waroona hosting more activities on Wednesday.

There are sporting activities at the Waroona Town Oval and art activities inside the Memorial Hall from 10am.

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