Zoo Chat | Celebrating NAIDOC

Celebrating: Lowana West, Walanmarra Programs Coordinator and Kirsty Hargraves, Aboriginal Programs Coordinator from Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

Celebrating: Lowana West, Walanmarra Programs Coordinator and Kirsty Hargraves, Aboriginal Programs Coordinator from Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

Saturday, July 14 marks Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s seventh annual NAIDOC Fun Day event, and there is plenty to see and do this year!

The NAIDOC Fun Day is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate our local indigenous community, and visitors from all walks of life to learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.

“The Zoo’s NAIDOC Fun Day is a really positive community day where all are welcome; and it’s getting bigger and bigger each year,” said Aboriginal Programs Coordinator and proud Wiradjuri woman, Kirsty Hargraves.

Every year, NAIDOC Week celebrates a theme, and this time it is a very special celebration named ‘Because of her, we can!’ This theme recognises and acknowledges all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, both past and present.

“This year’s theme, ‘Because of her, we can’ has such deep personal significance for me because I was raised by such strong Aboriginal women. Aboriginal women have a lot of responsibility, have the ability to break down social barriers and are able to adapt in hard situations,” said Kirsty.

“I am a proud Kurnai woman, and in mum fighting for us it really strengthens me to give back to this country and community. I feel a deep sense of pride as an Aboriginal woman which says: ‘Here I am; we are here to stay!’” says Walanmarra Programs Coordinator, Lowana West

Taronga Western Plains Zoo will be hosting their NAIDOC Fun Day in celebration of this theme, and the day will entail traditional Dance workshops, face painting, bush tucker sampling, native Australian animal encounters and much more!

“We will once again be bringing out our education collection of native animals, snakes and other reptiles which the kids really love”, said Kirsty.

Lowana adds, “Being able to work with the kids, the community and our country is very important. It is nice to know Taronga is doing their part too!”

All activities on the day are free and will held between the hours of 11am and 2pm at the Savannah Visitor Plaza near the children’s playground.