NAIDOC celebrations are now in full swing around the country, with a jam packed calendar of events underway. During NAIDOC Week, in any given city, town or community, you're likely to find a variety of local activities taking place, from flag raisings, family fun days, BBQs, concerts, awards ceremonies, art exhibitions and sports carnivals.
By
Natalie Ahmat

6 Jul 2016 - 1:45 PM  UPDATED 6 Jul 2016 - 1:45 PM

At every one of those events, you're likely to find a committee of volunteers working hard behind the scenes to make it all happen.

Damien Zammit is the Co-Chair of Top End NAIDOC, which has helped organise many of the NAIDOC events in the 2016 national host city of Darwin.

NITV's Natalie Ahmat caught up with him between events to ask a few quick questions.

Tell us about what's happening in Darwin in NAIDOC Week 2016?

It's a busy week, nearly 12 months in planning. We've got lots of events, particularly having school holidays here in Darwin, we do a lot of stuff for our youth - discos, parties, jumping castles, dancing, karaoke and concerts. But we are also catering to the wider community. We had a seniors cruise for our elders, and they loved it, getting together and having a good chinwag. There's also forums happening for business people in the Top End and the wider Australian community, so there's plenty to do in NAIDOC this year.

How important is NAIDOC Week to the Darwin community?

It's always important to share everyone's culture. Darwin's really multicultural and growing up here, everyone interacted with everybody, no matter what colour or what you look like. Everyone gets on well, and sharing our culture with the wider community is always important because we've got such an amazing history, and we want to give that out there and show the wider community our culture and what we do.

What does NAIDOC mean to you personally?

NAIDOC means a lot to me, with our history. My grand parents got taken away, and I think, coming together and sharing our stories and just catching up with people around a table, you don't often get to do that a lot of times, but we get to do that for a week and celebrate.

How does this year's NAIDOC theme 'Songlines: The living narrative of our nation' resonate with you?

When I think about Songlines, I think we are all connected whether you're Indigneous or not. Music, art, everyone's connected somewhere along the lines. We've also got a strong history with our culture and our storytelling through dance, through art. All those things we've grown up with and we get to share that with the wider community.

Darwin is the national host city for NAIDOC 2016. Does that make it extra special?

It's always a big emphasis when the national people are coming, and getting involved, so we've got to make sure that we're putting on a great show for not only them, but also for everybody else!