There will be much to celebrate at the inaugural University of Southern Queensland (USQ) NAIDOC Ball this Friday (October 12).
The event is the brainchild of the USQ Indigenous Student Association as a contribution to the NAIDOC celebration of the histories, cultures and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Headed by Bachelor of Business and Commerce student Ina Mills, the USQ Indigenous Student Association brings together a passionate group of peers and friends to work on issues that are important. One of these is fundraising to take part in events such as the week-long multisport competition, the National Indigenous Student Games.
The upcoming ball is the first of its kind for the group, which will celebrate NAIDOC and recognise various USQ initiatives such as Deadly Ways and Indigenous Connections.
Head of the College for Indigenous Studies, Education and Research Professor Tracey Bunda said the 2018 NAIDOC theme ‘Because of Her, We Can’ was important for recognising the sometimes invisible work undertaken by Indigenous women.
“A number of events were hosted at USQ in July when NAIDOC is officially recognised,” she said.
“I commend all the members of the USQ Indigenous Student Association for their dedication to community and their hard work in organising this new and exciting event.”
The three-course meal at USQ Toowoomba’s Refectory will be followed by music from Gugu Yelanji and Birri Gubba man Troy Jungaji Brady who draws on his Motown roots from his time with 90s hit band Aim4More, as well as his contemporary work in language and folk originals.
“I’ve been working with USQ on the Deadly Ways program for the past two years, helping young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students learn more about culture and explore pathways into further education,” Mr Brady said.
“Being able to bring the band to town and celebrate First Nations’ excellence on a night like this is a wonderful opportunity to continue that support and those conversations.”
Alethea Beetson, a former Toowoomba student and the niece of legendary Roosters player Arthur Beetson, will MC the night.
Ms Beetson founded youth organisation Digi Youth Arts which created a full music album with young people responding to repatriation of ancestral remains, Ancient Bloods, and an interpretation of Carpentaria for Brisbane Writer’s Festival.
The evening kicks off at 6.00pm with door prizes and entertainment later in the evening.
‘Honouring Elder Professionals of Nursing and Midwifery’ as part of NAIDOC Week celebrations earlier this year.