Naidoc Week has kicked off in Mount Isa with a flag raising ceremony on the Civic Centre lawns on Sunday.
Pastor Peter Smith said flags were important and in the past the Indigenous flag used to only fly outside Council one week of the year.
“Aboriginal people live here 52 weeks of the year and under Mayor McGrady the council changed the rules so that the flag flies every week,” Pastor Smith said. He said the Aboriginal way of life was forever changed by the arrival of the British. “They changed the laws but they did not destroy our culture – We cannot change the past but we can plan for tomorrow.”
Valerie Dempsey gave the Welcome to Country and reminded those present the Naidoc theme this year was “Because of Her We Can”.
The theme celebrates the role of Indigenous women.
Bob Katter MP spoke of how Kalkadoon people fought for their homeland in the 1880s and how despite Mabo conditions had still not improved in key life indicators.
MC was Noel Samardin.