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Parklea celebrates NAIDOC Week

Parklea Correctional Centre has celebrated NAIDOC Week with cultural dances, digeridoo playing, art and a smoking ceremony.

Inmates also enjoyed a barbecue lunch to cap off the festivities.

The event was held over three days in both maximum and minimum security areas of the prison and was attended by almost 100 inmates from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.

Uncle Wayne from Dharug Aboriginal cultural organisation Muru Mittigar spoke to the inmates about the importance of learning about heritage and traditions and using time in prison to make changes in their lives.

Uncle Pete taught 14 inmates traditional dances in just two one-hour lessons, which they performed with great pride and enthusiasm.

Parklea Correctional Centre Governor Paul Baker said it was important for Indigenous inmates to celebrate and learn more about their culture and initiatives such as these formed a vital part of Parklea’s rehabilitation programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“Unfortunately, Covid restrictions prevented us from holding NAIDOC celebrations back in July, but we were determined to do so once it was safe for staff and inmates,” Mr Baker said.

“I’d like to thank Uncle Wayne and Uncle Pete for enabling us to appropriately celebrate the histories, cultures and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through this event and the staff who worked hard to ensure it was a success.”