Three new members were warmly welcomed onto the National NAIDOC Committee (NNC) recently as preparations for NAIDOC Week 2019 got underway.
Kimberley Benjamin, Gordon Cole and Steven Satour joined other NNC members in Canberra back in September at the first NAIDOC planning meeting of the Committee post NAIDOC 2018.
NAIDOC Co-Chairs John Paul Janke and Pat Thompson said that the Committee was excited to welcome new members who each bring experiences, skills and a strong passion for NAIDOC.
“They are significant achievers across the business and broadcasting sectors, as well as strong community links. We look forward to their valuable contribution as we begin plans for NAIDOC 2019."
Here’s a little bit more about the three new members.
Kimberley Benjamin is a young Yawuru, Bardi and Kija woman from Broome in the Kimberley region of WA. For the past eight years she has studied, worked and lived in Whadjuk Noongar Country in Perth. Kimberley’s back in her hometown of Broome now, saying “I can’t keep away from family, country and community. Broome is where my liyarn (spirit) feels strong and happy.”
Kimberley is a keen filmmaker who even at a young age boasts an impressive resume as a writer, director and producer. This year Kimberley was awarded the NITV Spirit Award, which recognises early career filmmakers and helps to nurture their potential.
Kimberley says “When I think about celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, the first thing that comes to mind is NAIDOC Week.”
“Ultimately, I believe NAIDOC provides a national platform to have important conversations and to remind the rest of the Country that we are here, we have always been here and we will continue to be here for generations to come.” adds Kimberley.
Gordon Cole is a Noongar man from Perth and the south-west region of WA.
Gordon is an experience businessperson and leader who has worked for and through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community for over three decade. Gordon has held many leadership roles including as Director of First Nations Credit Union and Chairperson of Noognar Mia Mia Pty Ltd, and was as a traditional owner negotiator and member of the negotiating team for the Noongar native title settlement. Gordon is currently the Chair of the Noongar Chamber of Commerce and Industry and a director on a forum for Independent Directors of Indigenous organisations.
Gordon has taken part in NAIDOC as long as he can remember.
“I am extremely passionate about ensuring that NAIDOC Week celebrations not only continue to highlight and celebrate the outstanding achievements of my people, but also continue the spirit of those – such as William Cooper and Jack Patten” says Gordon.
Gordon is a passionate advocate both locally and nationally for NAIDOC Week celebrations and an ardent campaigner in promoting, celebrating and honoring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, lifestyles and histories.
Steven Satour is a Yankunytjatjara and Pitjantjatjara Aboriginal man from Central Australia with strong family ties to NSW. He is a digital entrepreneur and founder of Iwara Travel, a marketing, tourism destination and experience agency.
As Managing Director of Iwara Travel, Steven says he is an agent of change using tourism, a social and economic phenomenon, as an engine of economic progress and a social force.
Storytelling and tourism runs deep within his family with people like his kadja’s (sons) Cassidy and Reggie, traditional lore men and custodians of Uluru – Australia’s spiritual heart. Steven has been taught by his father, uncles and kadja’s of Tjukurpa (lore) and the connections between people, plants, animals and the land.
Steven says “My connection to country is my driving force in the belief that to change perceptions, whether conscious or unconscious, it will occur from firsthand experiences with Indigenous people.”
“My vision is to join the National NAIDOC Committee and use my strengths, talents and networks to help shape positive, innovate and timely conversations for our mob.” he adds.
NAIDOC Week will be held across Australia from 7-14 July 2019 and Canberra will be the host city for national celebrations. More information about the 2019 Theme will be released soon so watch this space!