Legislative Council: Wednesday, September 13, 2023



The Hon. J.E. HANSON (14:56): My question is also to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs. Will the minister inform the council of the 2023 NAIDOC march and family fun day held earlier this year?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (14:56): I thank the member for his question and his interest in this area. It was my pleasure earlier this year in July to join, as I do most years when I am in Adelaide, thousands of other South Australians, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, in the NAIDOC march down King William Street from Victoria Square to the steps of Parliament House.

It was, as it is everywhere, a particularly special and impactful event but, as I reflected with a number of Aboriginal elders during the march this year, it was certainly, from my memory and many others' memories, the largest march that we can remember in recent times—an impressive turnout of community members from all walks of life creating an atmosphere of unity and shared purpose. There were many community members, advocates, allies, Aboriginal leaders and friends all united in recognition of Aboriginal culture and a dedication to bring about change and reconciliation.

Certainly, as per usual, the march was enhanced by flags, signs and the jumpers and beanies with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander colours being worn. As is traditional in recent years, it was followed by family fun day celebrations which ran well into the afternoon with many activities for children and young people in particular, with over 50 stallholders from government and non-government organisations. There were also things like a men's zone, a women's zone, an elder zone, a small business zone looking at the best of small business from Aboriginal businesses, and a children's zone.

It was, as it usually is, an opportunity for people to catch up during NAIDOC Week and acknowledge the hard work that's been done by so many over the decades and the bright future ahead.