Two-year-old Dominic gets into the groove
DANCER Dom Butler, 2, was a joy to watch as he followed his grandfather's lead during the Bundaberg NAIDOC flag raising ceremony.
Three generations of a family represent the six dancers in the Warriors Descendants, who performed yesterday, and although the troupe members are based further north, they always return to Bundaberg for Naidoc Week.
This was the second NAIDOC Week for Dom, who has been part of the dance group since he was born, according to grandfather Joe Butler.
Dom joins his older brother Boston, 4, in the dancing, although Dom was more off rhythm and playing to the NAIDOC crowd, who cheered and laughed at his moves and facial expressions.
"Dom loves it," Mr Butler said.
"He is getting used to it, and getting to know the dance steps now.
"Dom picked it up earlier and Boston didn't take that long either."
Warriors Descendants performed three dances led by songman Michael Ambyrum, who said the song was called Gurri Ndnami, which meant unity.
"It is bringing everyone together for this joyous occasion," Mr Ambyrum said.
The flag raising ceremony in Buss Park was the formal beginning to NAIDOC Week, which had the theme of Voice, Treaty, Truth.
Flags were raised by Andy Warria, Jason Brown, and deputy mayor Bill Trevor.
Mr Brown of the Taribelang tribe gave the traditional welcome to country announcement, while speeches were made by Gidarjil Development Corporation's Kerry Blackman, Jackie Blackman, and by Bundaberg and District Naidoc Committee chairman Robert McLellan.
On Saturday Dr Blackman said there needed to be a treaty and greater representation for Aboriginals, and he expanded on that statement in his speech at the ceremony.
Mr McLellan agreed with the need for a treaty and said that it would have to establish a truth and justice commission.
"To implement a successful treaty, government must begin with acknowledgement, they must move beyond ignorance and view a perspective of their 230 years here and compare it to our 45,000 years plus," he said.
"Reconcile with First Nations people, adopt our sophisticated aquaculture and agricultural techniques and most importantly, if you can take three elements from Aboriginal sociology, let it be caring, sharing and respect."