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ACCOs share in $500,000 to support Aboriginal culture, community and connection in NSW

Callan Morse -

Almost 30 New South Wales-based Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations will receive a share of $500,000 to close the gap and celebrate Aboriginal culture within the state.

The funding injection is being made available through the NSW Government's Aboriginal Affairs Cultural Grants Program.

The funded projects are designed to boost connection to culture and community for Aboriginal peoples across NSW and give the wider community a greater appreciation for the strength and beauty of the world's oldest continuous culture.

Projects funded under the program include art workshops hosted by Gomeroi artists by Indigico Creative in Tamworth, holistic healing camps for First Nations youth by Mental Health for Mob Corporation in Karabar and a modern day corroboree bringing together six Aboriginal communities to dance and share cultural knowledge by Warrama-li Dhiiyaan Aboriginal Corporation in Mungindi.

The Ulladulla Local Aboriginal Land Council has also received support to facilitate cultural activities as has a youth mentoring program in Macquarie Fields.

The program supports Aboriginal communities to strengthen, protect and maintain traditional and contemporary expressions of Aboriginal culture and support cultural events and activities.

New South Wales Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Treaty, David Harris, said the funded projects will help deliver a key priority of the National Closing the Gap agreement that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people enjoy high levels of social and emotional wellbeing and connection to country.

"From powerful public art to films and festivals, this funding will not only provide Aboriginal people and communities the opportunity to join together in the strength of their culture, it will also allow all of us to gain a deeper appreciation of the rich cultural heritage of this land," Mr Harris said.

"In what can feel like serious and challenging times, this is the boost we all need."

The projects makeup the first round of the $1 million program which aims to further strengthen and celebrate Aboriginal culture locally across the State.

"This small but significant investment will ensure Aboriginal culture continues to thrive in our great state, delivering benefit for the whole community," Mr Harris said.

"In the next few months, keep an eye out for events such as the Saltwater Freshwater Festival on the Mid-North Coast, weaving and painting workshops through West Wyalong Local Aboriginal Land Council, and a 40th anniversary exhibition by the Gandangara Local Aboriginal Land Council, amongst other engaging events and activities."

Round 2 of the Aboriginal Affairs NSW Cultural Grants Program opened on Monday, with applications being accepted via the NSW Government's Aboriginal Affairs website.

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