This article was written by Larraine Sathicq and was originally published by the Beaudesert Times on 13 July 2018.
AS National Aboriginal and Islanders Day Observance Committee Week comes to close, members of Beaudesert’s Indigenous community attended a morning tea held by Rural Lifestyle Options Australia today.
Auntie Lorraine Iselin gave the Welcome to Country and Denise Lewis explained the significance of NAIDOC Week.
‘NAIDOC is celebrated all over Australia but it sometimes lasts for longer than a week,” she said.
“It’s about education as well as celebration of our culture, there’s so much going on in our lives that people are unaware of and we get to share that during NAIDOC.
‘We had a great event in Jubilee Park last weekend – there was singing, dancing, arts, crafts and bush tucker demonstrations but we will still be visiting schools well into August.”
Ms Lewis said she was originally from North Stradbroke but she remembered coming to Josephville with her parents to visit relatives.
“I came here often as a child but I didn’t think my roots would end up here,” she said.
“My heart is here though. I bought a house here 18 years ago and this is where I retired.”
Auntie Lorraine Iselin said NAIDOC was very important to her.
“It reminds me of Elders past and gone as well as all the good times we had when we were young,” she said.
“I was born and bred in Beaudesert and my maiden name was Paulson.
“My mother was Phyllis Paulson, she worked in the Beaudesert Hotel and actually thought she owned it. I moved away for a while and married an Iselin from North Stradbroke but I came back.
“We always come back.”
Joan Quick said she was proud of her Indigenous heritage even though she only found out about it 1996 when her uncle told her.
“Dad always told us we were Spanish,” she said.
Rural Lifestyle Options Australia National Marketing Manager Nicholas Power said the NAIDOC event was also a good opportunity to promote their Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan.
“With the commencement of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, we have identified a gap in our knowledge and understanding in working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” he said.
“As Rural Lifestyle Options Australia has a commitment to service provision for all Australians, we considered a Reflect Reconciliation Plan as an appropriate framework to develop and grow our cultural knowledge and realise our vision for reconciliation.”