(9.30am 2 July, Redfern Community Centre)
Thank you, Julia Medley, MC, and good morning, everyone. I would like at the start of this NAIDOC Week to acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the traditional custodians of our land, and to pay my respects to their Elders. I also acknowledge the people of 200 nationalities who call our city home.
NAIDOC Week is an important annual event in the cultural life of Sydney, celebrating our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and the vibrant culture you have preserved which continues to enrich the lives of all Australians.
This year, as part of the City of Sydney's efforts to give greater recognition to your communities, we will be holding the celebrations in Hyde Park North, in the heart of the City, just as so many other significant events are held there.
We want NAIDOC Week to become recognised and celebrated by the wider community, we want to promote greater awareness of, and respect for your significant culture and heritage.
There are fantastic things going on across Sydney for NAIDOC Week 2012, including exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Art Gallery of NSW, a play at the Opera House and a Family Day inb Glebe.
There's an open day at Tranby and a sports day and the city is hosting talks, films and exhibitions on this years them which celebrates the Spirit of the Tent Embassy, 40 Years On.
Today in Hyde Park we have Casey Donovan, Marcus Corowa and the Stiff Gins among the singing talent, and there's bush tucker, dance, art, traditional medicines and stories from the Elders.
There are buses here to take you down there, so I hope I'll see you all at Hyde Park North a bit later today. I'm proud to join you for your flag raising ceremony.
Happy NAIDOC Week!