NAIDOC Week 2016: Katherine marches for unity

Hundreds of community members united today to take part in Katherine’s NAIDOC Week march.

Our Languages Matter is the theme of NAIDOC 2017, and throughout the week it has resonated at community events across the town. 

Katherine Naidoc Week committee spokesman Rodney Hoffman said for people in Katherine and the surrounding region, languages were still quite strong. 

“Many of those traditional languages are dying out, purely because a lot of our young people are not taking up that opportunity to continue to learn, share culture and continue to speak language,” he said.

“I think it also matters a lot, as I said, because up here culture is still very strong.

“We want to ensure that languages are kept as part of the continuance of culture.”

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is originally from the Gungaloo clan in central Queensland, where they have been working hard to renew the language, after some elders stopped speaking it two generations ago. 

“We have revitalised some of our languages however that has been a long way in the making,” he said.

“It’s always something that I’d wished for.

“Coming to Katherine and hearing people speak language just put tingles down my spine.”