Aboriginal Tent Embassy co-founder Michael Anderson, and Casey Donovan, Australian Idol and Deadly Award winner, are the special guests of Southern Cross University’s annual NAIDOC family celebrations this week.
The two appeared at NAIDOC celebrations at SCU’s Gold Coast campus yesterday and will visit the Coffs Harbour and Lismore campuses later in the week.
In keeping with the theme for NAIDOC 2012 is ‘Spirit of the Tent Embassy: 40 years on’, where Mr Anderson reflected on the struggles by Australia’s Indigenous peoples for equality and land rights.
Ms Donovan entertained the crowd with a range of her popular hits.
Mr Anderson said the Tent Embassy remained as relevant as it first was 40 years ago when he established it on the lawn of Old Parliament House.
‘The fact that the Tent Embassy continues to operate indicates to everyone concerned, and not only Aboriginal people, that there is still something terribly wrong,’ he said.
Mr Anderson expected the Tent Embassy to remain in place until a compact/treaty arrangement was drawn up with the state and federal governments and territories.
‘A treaty will create a pathway where Aboriginal people will take ownership, and in some cases joint ownership, of programming in Aboriginal affairs rather than the current policy of total assimilation,’ he said.
NAIDOC celebrations are an opportunity to share and acknowledge the history, culture and achievements of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The events are free of charge and the community is welcome to attend. They will appear at Coffs Harbour campus this Thursday 19 July and Lismore campus on Friday 20 July from 11am to 3pm. Phone 6620 3955 or email sc[email protected] for more information.