Because of her, I did

“Because of her, I did”, Lillian Crombie said. 

The theme of this year’s NAIDOC week, which originally stood for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee, is Because of her I can. 

Lillian Crombie, a previous actor used the theme to reflect on the important women in her life. 

She focused on her maternal mother and her foster mother who have both played such important roles in her life and taught her many important things. 

“The importance of today is women in our family and our lives, that made a difference to our journey. I have my biological mother, Eileen Crombie and my non-Indigenous foster Mum, Lorna Turner who I have been with since I was nine-years-old.”

“All the things that they taught me as a child and as I am growing up, it is about survival, it is about love, it is about security, it is about standing up for yourself and it is about your identity, your connection with the land, connection with your journey through life. My mother Eileen, taught me about survival in the bush and my foster Mum taught me about survival in the city. I had the best of both worlds.”

Lillian reflected on the week as one that is here for everyone, as now many people have married into different cultures and says it is not just for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, it is for everybody. 

On Thursday, Port Pirie celebrated the week and turned out in large numbers to watch the flag raising, listen to the speeches, march along the streets and celebrate at the library afterwards. 

Mayor John Rohde started the ceremony of the flag raising, before both the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags were raised. 

Celebrations then spilled to the streets where the march took to Alexander Street and the Florence Street. 

As apart of the celebrations, an Aboriginal art trail has been created. Where artworks are being hosted in local businesses for sale and display. 

You can view arts by talented locals: Cynthia Watson, Alicia Ross, Leonora Neil, Annette Lawrie-Dodd, Judy Crosby, Duane Woods and Rekisha Buzzacott in the following businesses. 

  • The Picture Framers
  • Maxima Job Active
  • Relish
  • Travel Way
  • The Federal Hotel
  • Carpet Court 
  • Port Pirie Regional Council 
  • 5CS
  • Meg’s Bookshop
  • Goods on Gertrude
  • Music and Movies
  • TAFE Port Pirie Campus
  • Rowe and Partners. 

The initiative was organised by the Port Pirie NAIDOC committee with the support of Business Port Pirie and will be on display until Friday July 13. 

If you wish to purchase any artwork, please visit the Visitors Information Centre. 

NAIDOC week grants 

Activities across the Mid North have been supported by the Federal Government in NAIDOC week grants. 

Port Pirie and Crystal Brook received a total of $7,000 in funding, with $3,000 being given to the Crystal Brook Primary School to host a celebration including bush tucker and kangaroo sausage and $4,000 in Port Pirie for the flag raising ceremony, street march and performances. 

Member for Grey, Rowan Ramsey said the grants support the communities across the country to hold their own events, spreading understanding and pride of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.