MEDIA RELEASE

DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE AUSTRALIA

D10

2 July 1999

Department Of Foreign Affairs And Trade To Celebrate Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Culture

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as part of a continuing commitment to cultural and workplace diversity, is organising a week-long program of events to celebrate NAIDOC Week - 4 July to 11 July 1999.

NAIDOC - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders' Week - is a celebration and tribute to Indigenous Australian culture. The week aims to promote an understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and to demonstrate the contribution that Indigenous Australians make to the nation.

NAIDOC Week is also a time for non-indigenous Australians to join the celebrations and recognise and appreciate the richness of Indigenous Australia's culture and heritage.

The Department's celebrations in Canberra will commence on Monday 5 July at 10.00am with a flag raising ceremony at the main entrance to the R.G. Casey Building, where the Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Australian flags will be raised together.

A flag raising ceremony will also mark the opening of NAIDOC Week activities at the Australian Embassy in Tokyo. Both the Department in Canberra and the Embassy in Tokyo will be exhibiting Indigenous art and cultural objects.

The work of artist Stu Fergie will be on display from Monday 5 July until Friday 16 July in the main entrance foyer of the R.G. Casey building in Canberra.

Other NAIDOC week events include a live musical performance in DFAT's Brindabella Cafe at lunchtime on Wednesday 7 July.

In addition, the DFAT switchboard, in recognition of NAIDOC week, will be playing a selection of music by Indigenous musicians to callers waiting to be connected.

The DFAT NAIDOC Committee invites all interested people to join them in celebrating this special week.

Media Inquiries: Tony Melville (02) 6261 1555