Posted on 11 July 2016
Hundreds of people gathered in the grounds of Holy Family Parish at Emerton on 4 July 2016 for one of the largest NAIDOC Week events ever managed by Aboriginal Catholic Services in the Diocese of Parramatta.
The family fun day, run by CatholicCare Social Services, attracted Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people, with children’s rides, face painting and musicians.
Many community organisations in Western Sydney set up stalls at the event. These included Blacktown Area Community Centre, Dunheved and St Marys Fire Services, Mt Druitt Local Area Command, Muru Mittigar, Ability Links, the Department of Fair Trading, Afford, Kildare Road Medical Practice, the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Mt Druitt Local Area Command, Jesuit Social Services and the Indigenous Women’s Legal Program.
Lisa Foster from Aboriginal Catholic Services said NAIDOC Week was a great way to bring the local community together.
“This event, like others organised during NAIDOC Week, helps to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures,” Lisa said.
“It allows us to recognise the contributions that Indigenous Australians make to our country and our society.
“We are very grateful for the support of Holy Family Parish, in particular Aaron Rossler and his Just Community team, who cooked more than 800 lunches.”
Special visitors included Prue Car MP – Member for Londonderry, Joe Cashman – Acting Executive Director CCSS, and Very Rev Peter Williams VG, Episcopal Vicar for Social Welfare.
On 10 July 2016, Holy Family Parish hosted a Meet and Greet for the Aboriginal Community. This provided an opportunity for the Aboriginal community to meet and have a conversation with the new Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Vincent Long OFM Conv, about what they would like to see happening within the Diocese.
Aboriginal Catholic Services is located at 252-254 Luxford Road (enter via Emert Parade). The centre offers a range of free services including counselling for children and adults, financial and problem gambling counselling, free tea, coffee and computer access. There are groups for arts, sewing, cooking, playgroup and tutoring.
The centre also runs the HIPPY Home Interaction Program for parents with children aged 4-5. For more information tel (02) 9628 0084, drop in to see us, or join us on Facebook at facebook.com/ACSEmerton