KOREAN War veteran Steve Dodd led the opening of NAIDOC week celebrations on Monday.
Known in the indigenous community as Mulla Walla (flying fish), Mr Dodd said this year’s celebrations were important to recognise the military contributions and sacrifices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
“I wouldn’t miss the celebrations,” he said.
The 10th anniversary will celebrate this year’s theme: serving country, centenary and beyond.
Gerry Moore from Habitat Personnel said this year’s celebrations were also a chance for the indigenous community to remember fallen tribal warriors.
“Aboriginal warriors like Broger who defended Wodi Wodi women and the sacred cedar forests of Kangaroo Valley,” he said.
“Our people were heroic in combat and served their country and their families proudly as well.”
Shoalhaven City Mayor Joanna Gash raised the Australian flag alongside the Aboriginal flag at the Shoalhaven City Council administration building and thanked everyone for being there.
A barbecue lunch was held in Harry Sawkins Park to give guests the opportunity to share stories and celebrate the beginning of NAIDOC week.
NAIDOC Week in the Shoalhaven will include a wide range of exhibitions and events.
Today, Wednesday a community day of fun will be held at the Nowra Showground from 10am until 2pm. A film festival will be held on Thursday at the Arts Centre.
The week’s events will conclude with a NAIDOC Ball at Bomaderry Bowling Club on Friday, July 11 from 6pm.
Tickets can be bought from the club or the Aboriginal Medical Service.