Graphic: A bright red, yellow, blue and green dot art NAIDOC logo is on the left. Text reads Get up! Stand up! Show up! 3-10 July 2022.
Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! is the theme this NAIDOC Week (3-10 July) and Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) (RFDS) Recognised Mental Health Counsellor Joseph Oui is encouraging everyone to do just that.
Joseph proudly identifies as an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander man and grew up in Kuranda in Far North Queensland.
With a wealth of knowledge and experience working in remote communities across the country to provide vital mental health support, Joseph has returned to FNQ, joining the RFDS Cairns Base as the first Recognised Mental Health Counsellor.
Joseph’s role will see him join fellow RFDS staff to visit communities across Cape York.
Initially, Joseph will be found delivering services in Lockhart River - which is home to the Kuuku Ya’u, Wuthathi, Kanthanumpu, Uutaalnganu, Umpila and Kaanju peoples - and the Northern Peninsula Area, a region home to three Aboriginal communities; Injinoo, Umagico and New Mapoon, and two Saibai Islander communities; Seisia and Bamaga.
“I’ve got family all up the coast and spent a lot of time all up the Cape as a young fella,” Joseph said.
“I grew up in these communities. So for me, this role is all about re-connecting and having that understanding of the dynamics in the community and all that comes with it.”
Joseph said, to him, that is what NAIDOC Week is all about too.
“It’s about self-identity and re-connecting, for myself as well,” he said.
This week Joseph is encouraging everyone – no matter where they are from – to get up, stand up and show up.
“We need to revitalise, revive, and share our knowledge and experience and bring people together,” he said.“It’s about having community come together so that we can share our culture.
“This NAIDOC Week I’ll be following the celebrations around Cairns, igniting the cultural influence that is strong and vibrant in the community.
“I’ll be attending the NAIDOC march and the celebration in Fogarty Park which is always a highlight - seeing people being unified displaying a recognition to First Nations people.”
No matter where you are planning to celebrate, there are lots of ways you can honour the history, culture, and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples this NAIDOC Week.
For more information about NAIDOC Week 2022, see the NAIDOC website.