Meena Johnson, Program Manager of Wesley Youth Accommodation Services writes –
NAIDOC Week events in Coffs Harbour started on Mon 4th July with the official flag raising ceremony at the Coffs Harbour City Council grounds. Our team were in attendance and a Welcome to Country was done by Aunty Narelle Wilson. Local services and members of the community attended this official opening which was followed by a morning tea at Norm Jordan pavilion at Coffs Showground.
After the morning tea our team attended the NAIDOC Housing Forum at the same venue. Wesley Mission was one of the five organisers of this event and we were pleased to sponsor the BBQ.
The Housing Forum was a great opportunity for the community to come together for a yarn about the housing crisis everyone is experiencing in the local area. We were privileged enough to speak with some of our local elders in relation to Aboriginal Social Housing and the challenges that Aboriginal peoples face when the support they receive does not always align with their kinship and values.
Housing services asked for and received feedback from community members, provided information about housing and supports we can offer. People danced, sang and yarned for the morning while eating bush tucker and drinking tea and coffee.