Netball WA, West Coast Fever and Shooting Stars are proud to celebrate NAIDOC Week and support this year’s theme of ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’.
NAIDOC Week celebrations, usually held in July however this year it was rescheduled to November due to COVID-19, will see people celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Australia.
‘Always Was, Always Will Be’ recognises that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years.
The theme acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were Australia’s first explorers, first navigators, first engineers, first farmers, first botanists, first scientists, first diplomats, first astronomers and first artists.
Netball WA’s NAIDOC Week celebrations will be highlighted by the Perth NAIDOC Netball Carnival on Sunday 15 November at the Gold Netball Centre, with more than 70 teams expected to take part in the competition, further cementing its position as one of the largest Indigenous sporting events in Australia.
This year will once again see the theme of NAIDOC Week in the hands of thousands of young Aboriginal netballers, with a bespoke ball designed by Narrogin Aboriginal Grassroots Site and Shooting Stars participant, Chante Kickett, and thanks to the support of the Insurance Commission of Western Australia, promoting the Belt Up message.
Netball WA is also set to host its annual North-West NAIDOC Netball Carnival in Broome later this month.
The organisation’s staff will also take part in a range of other NAIDOC Week activities including cultural awareness sessions and hearing from strong Indigenous leaders.
Netball WA General Manager of Community Netball, Liz Booth, said it was important for Netball WA to honour NAIDOC Week.
“NAIDOC Week is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the strong relationship netball shares with the Indigenous communities of Western Australia,” said Booth.
“It also presents a great opportunity to continue to strive for better representation of Aboriginal girls and women across our pathways.”
At the elite level, West Coast Fever celebrated Suncorp Super Netball’s League-wide Indigenous Round as well as the Club’s dedicated Shooting Stars Round during the Round 13 win over Giants Netball, where both teams wore their Indigenous dresses.
The dress was designed by Noongar artists, Peter Farmer and Kylie Graham and features seven circular symbols representing the seven players on court gathering or coming together and the unpredictable path water weaves throughout the landscape.
In addition, Shooting Stars continues to affect genuine change in the lives of more than 375 participants in eight sites across the state.
Shooting Stars is an educational program that uses sport and other tools to encourage greater school engagement amongst young Aboriginal girls and women. We empower Aboriginal girls in regional and remote communities to make informed choices about their education and employment journey, helping them strive for the stars.
Importantly, the Program produces results, with more than 25% of participants improving attendance Term on Term, while 50% of participants maintain an average attendance rate of 80% or above.
Furthermore, Shooting Stars is a key driver in creating equality for female leaders and generational change, with 85% of its staff and 66% of its Board identifying as Aboriginal.