Naidoc Week theme hits close to home for Langford Aboriginal Association

Raelee Cook
Raelee Cook

LANGFORD Aboriginal Association chairwoman Raelee Cook says the organisation would not be here today without the contributions of women.

The organisation is in the midst of celebrating Naidoc Week, which runs from July 8 to 15.

This year’s theme is “Because of Her, We Can’ and Ms Cook praised the hard work of the women who had poured their heart and soul into the organisation.

“This place would not survive if it wasn’t for the women here and the volunteering they did for this place,” she said.

“You had a couple of men who started off on the committee, but the women were the driving force behind what happened with this community and they’ve built it up to what it is today.”

John Curtin Medallist and 2017 Western Australian of the Year nominee Angela Ryder helped found the organisation.

Ms Cook said she was vital in helping them to establish a strong community presence.

“She was one of the ones who helped start it and get it going; she’s done a big circle and come back and she’s back on our committee now,” she said.

Ms Cook said Aboriginal men and women were traditionally considered equal and had clearly defined societal roles.

“With the division of labour, the women looked after the children, the elderly, hunted and gathered and continued the stories, songs, art and spirituality,” she said.

Ms Cook said given the theme, this year’s Naidoc Week was the perfect time to reflect on the contributions of Aboriginal women.