Folks were dressed to impress at the 4th annual Dubbo Community NAIDOC ball on Saturday, September 3, where Aboriginal organisations and individuals where recognised for their efforts.
Nearly 300 people attended the evening of celebration at the RSL auditorium.
The event was organised by Dubbo's NAIDOC committee comprising of Beckie Wells, Dawn Towney, Damien (Pug) Day, Luke Taylor, Wanita Gibbs, Brooke Mallison, Kristy Burge, Shane (Sugar) Riley, Aunty Marg Walker, Aunty Joanne Carr, and Aunty Janet (Notty) Toomey.
"A lot of hard work by the [committee] goes into putting the ball on. All of the sleepless nights and volunteer hours have paid off. This is our fourth [year]... and each year it just gets better," Beckie Wells said.
"It's so important to come together as a community from all backgrounds to celebrate our Black excellence and our allies who are on this journey with us."
She said they were proud to be supported by the ball's sponsors, some of whom had been with the NAIDOC committee since the very beginning.
"Without their support, none of this would be possible, thanks to all," Ms Wells said.
Brinae Smith and Kevin Jones took on MC roles for the evening with live music by Millie Mills who has previously performed at the National Rugby League's All Stars and Indigenous round.
The venue was adorned with striking decor by Bamara Dubbo Opportunity Hub.
Guests were welcomed to Wiradjuri Country by Uncle Lewis Burns and Aunty Di Macnaboe. Following which the Talbragar Wiradjuri Aboriginal Dancers led by Jamie McLennan performed four traditional dances.
Homegrown keynote speaker Kieran Shipp delivered an empowering speech about his journey to medicine. Mr Shipp is a fourth year medical student at the University of Newcastle pursuing a double degree. He was inspired to become a doctor in 2017 after finding out there were roughly only 250 Indigenous doctors in the whole country.
He revealed his attitude towards medicine after feeling lost on his first day at university.
"I may have failed today, but I'll go... learn, and you bet your a*** I'll be back tomorrow," he said as the crowd cheered.
Towards the end of the night, guests also had the opportunity to vote for Ms and Mr NAIDOC 2022, winners were Leanne Sutcliffe and Mark Toomey. Awards were also given to the best dressed Elders, female and male, winners were Mrs Joanne Carr and Mr Mathew Carr.
2022 NAIDOC award winners and honourable mentions are listed below:
- Apprentice/Trainee of the year winner - William (Buddy) Collis, Honourable mention- Marcus William
- Artist of the year / Visual Arts (painting, digital design) winner - Honourable mention -Hayden Wood
- Artist of the year / Performance (musicians, dancing, acting) winner - Jamie McLennan
- Local Business of the year winner - Thumbs Up Handyman, Honourable mention- Fastlane Plastering
- Scholar of the Year winner is - Khyarne Biles, Honourable mention- Anthony Riley
- Elder of the year winner - Aunty Di Macnaboe. Honourable mention- Aunty Shirley Wilson
- Youth of the year winner - Jayden Adams-Wells, Honourable mention- Llaney Webb
- Youth Sportsperson of the year (under 18 years) winner - Millie Sutcliffe
- Sportsperson of the year (18+ years) winner - Tony Pellow
- Excel in Ability of Sports (Sport Disability Award) winner- Super tag - Macquarie Raiders
- Community volunteer of the year winner - Wilaay Wiradjuri Elders. Honourable mention - Dubbo NAIDOC Committee
- Unity Better Together (Non-Aboriginal Ally's) winner - Dr Emma Webster. Honourable mention- Lorna Brennan
- Local service of the year (supporting community) winner - Housing Plus. Honourable mention- Spear & Arrow
- Rod Towney Trailblazer (leadership award) winner - Travis Hill. Honourable mention- Trixie Watts
The Dubbo community NAIDOC ball was sponsored by Dubbo Aboriginal Medical Service, Mission Australia, Uniting, VERTO, as well as Bamara Dubbo Opportunity Hub, Housing Plus, Yilabara Solutions, Walkabout Barber, Bila Muuji, MJR Trades, Spear & Arrow Therapeutic Services, Indidg connect, Aboriginal Employment Strategy, Yudjuri, REDI.E, NSW Aboriginal Lands Council, and the Aboriginal Housing Office.
The ball was livestreamed on Facebook for those who could not be in attendance.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: