Kaata-Koorliny Employment and Enterprise Development Aboriginal Corporation launched NAIDOC Week 2023 in Narrogin on October 16 with an exhibition of works created by KEEDAC clients. The event gathered elders, families and community members together to celebrate and recognise the cultural custodians of the Wilman Noongar people and the importance of storytelling. After Isiah Chong-Wee filled the exhibition space with didgeridoo music, KEEDAC’s Keely Kickett opened the ceremony in a crowded room adorned with art. “It is a privilege to have you join us today to celebrate the profound importance of our Wilman elders,” Ms Kickett said. “We offer gratitude for the wisdom, guidance and custodianship that have shaped the land we gather on today. “Their enduring legacy and rich tradition have sustained our community and inspired us.” Elder Basil Kickett gave a welcome to country and shared memories of times past. “I think we’re close to the last of the elders here today that remember the hardships that Noongars faced, that remember the reserves and the reservations on Granite Road,” he said. “I lived up there in a tin house — we have come a long way but there’s still a long way to go.” Mr Kickett recalled how the Narrogin Railway once provided a lot of work to the region and that a curfew had prohibited Noongar people from being in town between certain hours. KEEDAC chief operations officer Janine Terry said the gathering was a celebration of story sharing and cultural transmission. “When I was young I used to love sitting at the feet of my elders,” she said. “Everyone else went and did the dishes or peeled potatoes where our people gathered but I sat at their feet and listened to their stories. “That is what it’s about today, receiving the stories of our elders, of our Wilman people, and translating them into the pieces around you. “I am so grateful to have been able to witness our young people create these pieces, I’m very very proud.” The exhibition at NEXIS will remain up until October 28 and is open from 10am-4pm Wednesday to Saturday with many works available to purchase.