RAAF Base Williamtown personnel have joined the Worimi community and wider Indigenous regional community at special NAIDOC Week marches around the Hunter Region in New South Wales.
Participation in NAIDOC Week activities on July 8 and 10 highlighted the base’s commitment to maintaining strong connections with local Indigenous communities.
Senior Australian Defence Force Officer – RAAF Base Williamtown, Group Captain Peter Cluff, said it was an important relationship that had been fostered over time.
“We are proud of the close and enduring connection we have with the Elders and members of the Worimi community,” Group Captain Cluff said.
“It is a relationship that has been nurtured and maintained over many years and actively supported through our Cultural Awareness Program.”
Group Captain Cluff said the base’s ongoing inclusion and consultative approach with Worimi community Elders was important.
“It is an honour and a privilege to have such a strong relationship with the Worimi people and we sincerely value their history, culture, insights and knowledge as part of our base family,” he said.
Worimi Elder Uncle Neville said the Worimi people and base personnel had a meaningful connection and mutual understanding.
“Bonded by our passion for this country and community, we have embraced each other as brothers and sisters and we look forward to walking together into the future,” Uncle Neville said.
“With our collective story yet to be written, it will no doubt be a story of friendship, family and a journey of mutual respect and appreciation that continues.”
As part of NAIDOC Week celebrations, Worimi Elders were invited as honoured guests to open the newly completed South Gate of RAAF Base Williamtown to acknowledge the Worimi people’s contribution, role and place in the Williamtown Base community.
“The Worimi Elders’ presence and role in the ceremony reinforces our commitment to ensuring local Indigenous communities are engaged through word and action,” Group Captain Cluff said.
“As the traditional owners of this land, our close relationship with the Worimi people, together with our open communication, has meant we have learnt much and together we are one community.”