This year the Mindaribba Local Aboriginal Land Council and the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community will again hold a number of activities across the Maitland and Cessnock Local Government areas to mark the continued achievements and existence of Aboriginal Peoples.
The annual "March of Existence" from the Maitland Court House is even more poignant this year with the NAIDOC theme being, "Voice. Treaty. Truth. Let's work together for a shared future".
This theme focuses on key areas where it is essential that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples ideas and needs are accepted.
It is time for Indigenous knowledge to be heard through our voice - the Indigenous voice and languages of this country are over 85 thousand years old.
As the oldest living culture on earth we need to have an enhanced role in the decision making of Australia's democracy, with a voice that is recognised and maintained into the future, a voice that cannot be silenced or taken away by the political whims of any future elected governments.
Our voices need to be concreted into the future structure of this country, just as our knowledge and history of this country has been etched into the Australian landscape since time immemorial.
The NAIDOC theme also seeks to highlight our First Nations' yearning for lasting and effective agreements such as Treaties - which cannot be achieved unless we have a shared, truthful understanding of the nature of the dispute, of the history, and of how we got to where we stand.
Recognising that the history of our First Nations People is the history of all Australians, and of all of Australia, and we need to own it.
Hearing this history is necessary before we can come to some true reconciliation, some genuine healing for both sides.
Mindaribba LALC encourages everyone in the community and visitors to the area, to join in the events this week and to walk and speak with First Nations Peoples in order to gain a deeper understanding of the true history of this country.
First Nations people do not seek to blame non-Indigenous people for the past no matter how horrific the past 230 years have been.
We seek to have the past recognised as a legitimate part of Australia's history so that we can walk forward together.