I encourage local community groups to celebrate Aboriginal culture and apply for NAIDOC Week 2017 grants. The NSW Government is again offering small grants for grass roots organisations to run local events marking NAIDOC Week, the annual celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. This is a great opportunity for Heathcote groups to get some funding for their NAIDOC Week events.

NAIDOC, which stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee, is held nationally each year in the first full week of July. This year NAIDOC will run from 2 – 9 July.

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Sarah Mitchell said NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for all in NSW to get together and celebrate the unique place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our communities. “This year NSW will become the first state in the nation to introduce legislation to recognise and protect Aboriginal languages, as well as establishing a Centre for Aboriginal Languages of NSW to support community-led revival efforts,” Mrs Mitchell said.

Although traditionally held in the first week of July, some communities conduct NAIDOC activities outside of the designated week due to community conflicts, weather conditions and school holidays.

Grant applications are now open and close Thursday 27 April 2017. Not-for-profit community groups are invited to apply for funding in the order of $500 to $1,000. For more significant events, up to $3,000 can be considered, a total of $200,000 is available.

For more information and how to apply, visit the Aboriginal Affairs NSW website at www.aboriginalaffairs.nsw.gov.au.