Celebrating NAIDOC Week


July 11, 2019

employees standing around aboriginal artwork

NAIDOC Week is a time for all of us to work together for a shared future.

This year’s theme – Voice. Treaty. Truth. – acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples want and deserve to have their voices heard and an enhanced role in decision-making in Australia’s democracy.

For Uniting Families First caseworker, Eva Orr, this year’s theme represents a big step forward in the move towards reconciliation.

Eva has been a passionate advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights throughout her 30-year career.

Born in Nerrigundah in NSW, Eva moved to Adelaide at the age of four and is proudly of Palawa descent.

“My mother brought us up to be achievers and I was also very lucky to have an activist Aunty as my role model who brought about significant change in South Australia for Aboriginal students studying at Adelaide University,” Eva said.

“It’s important for everyone to have a voice.”

“My work colleagues call me a political activist, however, I see myself as a passionate person who believes in equal rights for all, especially the Aboriginal and LGBTIQ communities.”

Eva first started working in community services in Coober Pedy in the 1980s and has since held a number of important roles in driving change and creating a better future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

She has been instrumental in developing Aboriginal family violence strategies in Victoria, overseeing community NAIDOC Week celebrations, and as the former CEO of Women’s Health in Melbourne’s South East, secured funding for Koori parenting engagement groups in the region.

Alongside her work supporting local families in crisis, Eva has also played a key role in developing Uniting’s inaugural Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan.

This NAIDOC Week, Eva hopes people from all walks of life will come together to celebrate and start vital conversations.

“NAIDOC Week is a chance to break down barriers and have those important conversations that bring about truth,” she said.

“That is one of the biggest steps we can take towards healing and moving forward together.”

Eva is hosting a NAIDOC Week celebration at the Uniting Narre Warren office on Friday 12 July from midday to 2pm.

People are encouraged to come along to share stories and food.

For more information, call 9704 8377.

Pictured: Eva Orr, back row, third from left, with her fellow Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group members

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