Hundreds of people have attended a NAIDOC Week event that celebrates Aboriginal culture while connecting residents with local organisations and services.
The NAIDOC Family Fun Day at Darcy Wentworth Park in Warrawong, on Dharawal Country, featured entertainment, activities for children and adults and stalls from dozens of service providers, from health organisations and St George Illawarra Dragons to the Australian Defence Force and Lake Illawarra Police District.
Tuesday's event was due to take place in early July during NAIDOC Week itself, but was rained out; however, the change of date did not seem to put a dent in numbers, with a large crowd already at the park when the event officially kicked off at 10am.
For Yuin and Wodi Wodi Elder Uncle Gee Brown, the event was an opportunity for family to get together.
Uncle Gee said it was "very important" to celebrate Aboriginal culture, and invite non-Indigenous people to join in the celebrations too.
"I think they all get a lot out of it, and so do we," he said.
This sentiment was echoed by Selai Storer and Kristy Thomas from the Coomaditchie United Aboriginal Corporation.
"It's very important because we get to celebrate and highlight our Aboriginal history, and highlight our Aboriginal artists," Miss Thomas, also a member of the event's working party, said.
Ms Storer said it presented an opportunity for all service providers to gather in one place, where people could talk and learn more about what was available.
Similarly to Uncle Gee, she also said it was a chance for non-Indigenous people to experience Aboriginal culture.
This year's NAIDOC Week theme was 'For Our Elders', which Miss Thomas said was "massive".
"They paved the way for us," she said.
The NAIDOC Family Fun Day began in 2013 and, with two years off due to COVID-19, marked its eighth year in 2023.
Miss Thomas said it started with just a handful of organisations on the working party and about 10 service providers, but had grown to include 30 to 40 service providers.
"People look forward to this event," Miss Thomas said.
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