As part of National NAIDOC week celebrations Lithgow Council organised a flag raising ceremony and morning tea on Tuesday 4 July with a number of Aboriginal people and agencies represented. 

The flag raising event was an opportunity for Council to learn about First Nations people, common history and to acknowledge the oldest continuous living cultures on earth.

“For Our Elders”, is the theme of NAIDOC WEEK 2023. In First Nations’ culture, Elders play an important role. They are the foundation of Aboriginal community and they spread the ancient cultures.

In keeping with the “For our Elders’ theme, Ceane Towers, a Lithgow born and raised Wiradjuri woman, acknowledged the legacy of her mother Leslie Towers. “Mum supported many in the Greater Lithgow area in her Aboriginal Mental Health role, supporting the first Aboriginal celebration event in town, and had an open door to community in our family home. She is well remembered. Mum’s spirit is in those who knew her still. ”Aunty Helen Riley said: “I went to school with Leslie Towers, she is still present for us”.

Council wants to build respectful and equal relationships with all members of community especially the Wiradjuri people, Traditional Custodians of the land and waters of Lithgow, who have been living here for thousands of years.

On the day Council acknowledged that Australia’s colonial history since 1770 has, most regrettably, for many First Nations People been characterised by dispossession, violence, and racism. It was also recognised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples hold distinct cultural rights that must not be denied.

The Council observed that First Nations Peoples should be able to proudly live their identity and culture. Maintain the use of their language, kinship ties, their distinctive spiritual material and economic relationship with the land, waters, and other resources with which they have a connection under traditional laws and customs.

The Council is committed to working with community groups to foster social inclusion. For many years Council has supported National NAIDOC Week celebrations as well as providing funding to assist our community to hold their own NAIDOC events.