NAIDOC Week is well underway after starting with a celebration at Wolseley Park last Sunday.

The family fun day had become a staple for NAIDOC Week in Gunnedah until COVID put a three-year pause on the festivities.

Returning stronger this year was a large crowd for the first family day since the lockdowns.

Emma Costello was a large contributor in organising the day as chairperson of Gunnedah NAIDOC.

“It is a great way for the community to come out and celebrate NAIDOC together, in unity and culture,” Emma said. 

“It takes a team to pull an event like this together, to get all these organisations communicating with each other so it is good not just to have one person but a number of people to share the load.”

The committee received praise on social media for the success of the day.

Comments on Gunnedah NAIDOC’s Facebook page.

The official ceremony included a march around Wolseley Oval led by Luke Kavanagh and Wayne Griffiths.

Kennith Conlan raised the flag and assisted Cr Kate McGrath and Emma in cutting the cake to end the official ceremony.

Children were entertained with jumping castles, a popcorn machine and games while there were plenty of stalls with information and resources for adults.

This year’s NAIDOC Week theme was ‘for our elders’, a message not lost on Gunnedah.

Mitchum Neave delivered the welcome to country and emphasised the importance of elders fighting for what first nation Australians have today.

Mitchum Neave and Kennith Conlan.

Mitchum expanded on that with the Gunnedah Times.

“When I grew up, there was a white man’s bubbler a black man’s bubbler, a white man’s door and a black fellows’ door to go into shops and even toilets were separated and I am only 65. People are surprised, it was not that long ago,” he said.

“So, for our elders in the past who fought to bring us together, they did a marvellous job.”

Emma expressed the importance of elders passing down the values to younger people.

“I think they are people who come and help shape us into the people we are,” she said.

“Knowing who you are and where you come from and where you belong. I think that is ultimate thing for any Indigenous person.”

View more photos from the day by clicking the link below:

NAIDOC family day 2023 | PHOTOS (

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