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, an 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,” she said.

“All the things that they taught me as a child and as I am growing up, are about survival and 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.”

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

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

Celebrations then spilled to the streets where the march took place in Florence Street. 

As part of the celebrations, an Aboriginal art trail was created where artworks were hosted in local businesses for sale and display. Activities in the Mid North have been backed by federal grants. 

Port Pirie and Crystal Brook received $7000 with $3000 being given to the Crystal Brook Primary School to host a celebration including bush tucker and kangaroo sausage and $4000 in Port Pirie for the flag-raising ceremony, street march and performances. 

Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said this supported the holding of events.