ADF company supports NAIDOC Week celebrations

Victor Harbor had some special visitors as part of recent 2021 NAIDOC Week celebrations, when members of Alpha Company, the 7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (7RAR) joined in to recognise local Indigenous culture.

Forty members of the company from RAAF Base Edinburgh, participated in the community march through town, as well as the commemorative service held at Soldiers' Memorial Garden.

The service included a traditional smoking ceremony, Indigenous music and Dreamtime Story readings brought to life by local Ramindjeri and Ngarrindjeri community members.

Officer Commanding Alpha Company Major Phillip Kennedy joined Victor Harbor Mayor Dr Moira Jenkins in raising the Australian flag at the service.

"It was a privilege to be a part of this year's NAIDOC Week and I, as well as the soldiers, look forward to future opportunities to work with the residents of Victor Harbor," Major Kennedy said.

"NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for Australians to come together; to enjoy the rich cultures of Australia and learn more about Indigenous customs and traditions."

After the service, the visiting soldiers joined a community lunch provided by the Victor Harbor Rotary Club, before kicking off some sporting activities for children.

Private Andy Willems said he felt privileged to be part of such a moving ceremony.

"To me, NAIDOC Week is a great opportunity to celebrate and learn about the histories, cultures and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples," Private Willems said.

"I felt privileged to be a part of such an important ceremony and look forward to celebrating NAIDOC Week with 7RAR in the years to come."

Major Kennedy said the day had been a great opportunity for 7RAR to gather with the Victor Harbor community in a COVID-safe way to build important relationships.