Good Shepherd celebrates NAIDOC Week

7 July 2017

Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand joined thousands of Australians celebrating the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples this NAIDOC Week.

One of the highlights was the 2017 Frankston and Mornington Peninsula NAIDOC Gala Dinner hosted by the Willum Warrain Aboriginal Association.

Good Shepherd in the Peninsula has a long history of working with the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, and more recently Willum Warrain.

Colin Valentine, Manager - Good Shepherd Family Services Peninsula, attended the gala dinner and presented Lionel Lauch with the 2017 Community Award sponsored by Good Shepherd.

Lionel Lauch, a Gunditjmara Kirrae Wurrung-Bundjalung man, is the founder of Living Culture, an organisation that provides Indigenous educational programs and healing meditation sessions. 

"NAIDOC Week is a chance to celebrate my culture with family and friends. It is also a chance to connect with the community and recognise those making a positive difference for Indigenous people.

"I feel honoured to be awarded the 2017 NAIDOC Community Award. It is my passion to educate others about my culture and history so to be recognised for doing something that I love is very special to me."

As well as participating in the NAIDOC Gala Dinner, Good Shepherd's Mornington Peninsula team took part in NAIDOC Family Day at Nairm Mar Djambana, Frankston, cooking up a delicious BBQ for all the families and community members who attended.

Colin Valentine, Manager Family Services Peninsula, has been involved NAIDOC celebrations on the Peninsula for many years and enjoys the sense of community NAIDOC Week promotes.

"Being involved in NAIDOC family day is a great way for Good Shepherd staff to get to know and build good relationships with our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities," he said.


"Cooking the barbie and serving the meal also gave us a chance to have some great conversations with many of the children and families who attended on the day."

In Melbourne's West, Jude Nicholson, Manager Financial Security, enjoyed the sense of community she experienced at the Engaging Brimbank Families BBQ hosted by the Western Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency.

"It was wonderful to see the kids having a ball, kids from all backgrounds - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Middle Eastern and Asian, learning about Indigenous culture through dance and story," she said.

"Providing our children with the opportunity to learn about other cultures from a young age is one of the best ways we can encourage diversity and go some way to breaking down prejudice within our community."

Good Shepherd staff also attended flag raising ceremonies in Frankston, the Mornington Peninsula and St Albans, and supported NAIDOC Family Day at Collingwood Children's Farm.

Shayden Bloomfield-Ritchie and Lionel Lauch opening the 2017 Frankston and Mornington Peninsula NAIDOC Dinner

Shaydon Ritchie and Lionel Lauch open the 2017 Frankston and Mornington Peninsula NAIDOC Gala Dinner with a deadly didgeridoo performance.

Colin Valentine, Good Shepherd Manager Family Services and Wenzel Carter, Active Member of the Local Community (Willum Warrain) cooking up a storm at the NAIDOC Family Day at Nairm Mar Djambana.

Good Shepherd Case Managers Jenny Simms, Tracey Dominick, Sue Oaks and Melissa Lambie serving some delicious food at the NAIDOC Family Day at Nairm Mar Djambana.