Lake Mac’s First Nations community stands proud for NAIDOC Week

Published on 10 July 2024

Bahtabah Local Aboriginal Land Council CEO Carol Proctor participating in the smoking ceremony.jpg

Black, loud and proud: Lake Macquarie’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices spoke as one today to celebrate NAIDOC Week 2024.

Hundreds of people who gathered at Lake Macquarie City Council’s administration building at Speers Point for a flag-raising and cultural ceremony heard about the struggles of local Indigenous families and the need to create a better future for younger generations.

Council Aboriginal Community Development Officer Bindi Flook said the ‘Blak, Loud and Proud’ theme of this year’s NAIDOC Week encapsulated the “unapologetic celebration of Indigenous identity”.

“This theme calls for a reclamation of narratives, an amplification of voices, and an unwavering commitment to justice and equality,” she said.

“It invites all Australians to listen, learn, and engage in meaningful dialogue, fostering a society where the wisdom and contributions of Indigenous peoples are fully valued and respected.”

Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said Council was determined to take every available measure to create an inclusive and vibrant community for First Nations people.

“I’m really proud of the steps we’ve taken to recognise the contributions of First Nations people in our community, to support reconciliation efforts and to enhance community wellbeing,” she said.

“We are developing a new Aboriginal Community Plan for our city and I look forward to the framework it provides for these things to happen.”

NRLW Knights captain Tamika Upton also spoke at the ceremony, recalling how as a child growing up in Queensland, she felt ashamed to celebrate her cultural heritage

But that has since changed, and she urged younger people in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to be brave, face their fears and embrace their history and culture.

NAIDOC Week activities continue in Lake Mac with an Eastlakes NAIDOC Fun Day on Friday 19 July from 10am at Pelican Foreshore.

Go to for more information.