Short video montage of our 2023 NAIDOC Celebration Lunch

It was the 20th of July when over 350 Elders from all over the state travelled to be at the Adelaide Convention centre for our NAIDOC week inspired celebration.

For many Elders, NAIDOC week, falling on the 2nd-9th of July, can be really busy. The ACS team didn’t want to make our community choose between their local events and ours – hence the later date which many Elders appreciated. Maybe this was why we had such a great turn out this year, but we suspect that folks were particularly interested in seeing and meeting Troy Cassar-Daley – an Australian country music legend!

Troy is a proud Gumbaynggirr/Bundjalung man who has had a long music career so far, with 40 Golden Guitars, 5 ARIAS, 3 APRA Song of the year awards, and more. He sang 6 songs for our Elders, and stuck around for a yarn afterwards – with many pictures taken and things signed. One of these things was a T-shirt owned by 23 year old Amelia McKenzie, who had travelled to Adelaide with her mother and aunt from Whyalla and Andamooka. This T-shirt had been signed by Troy when Amelia was only around 8 years old, at a truck muster in Port Augusta. Troy was delighted to see the picture of the two of them together from so many years ago, laughing, “See, that makes me feel very old, and happy at the same time!”

Amelia McKenzie poses with Australian country singer Troy Cassar-Daley at Aboriginal Community Service's 2023 NAIDOC week celebration lunch at the Adelaide Convention centre.
Amelia and Troy pose with the T-shirt and photo of them both from when Amelia was around 8 (photo by

More special moments were shared between Elders over meals too. The buffet offered delicious lamb, chicken, salmon, green salad, potato salad and more. It was great to see Elders enjoying their lunch surrounded by the beautiful floral arrangements put together by Buds and Blooms Florist. Elders were excited to take the bouquets home, racing to stick the provided markers on the closest vase. After lunch it was an assortment of cakes, fruit salad, more laughs, hugs and catching up.

Elders gather around a table at Aboriginal Community Service's 2023 NAIDOC week celebration lunch at the Adelaide Convention centre.
Elders enjoy themselves around a table

ACS received a lot of feedback from this event, and we are so glad that it was widely enjoyed by Elders who are just as excited as we are to come back again for another event!

“This year’s event was beautiful. Sitting with other Elders listening to them sing along to Troy is so precious. Thank you for always providing such a beautiful safe space for us.”

Anonymous feedback submitted by an Elder

Thank you to everyone who came and helped make it a great day, see you next time!

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