When the marchers shared pride of their survival
THE smell of smoke wafted and the sounds of a performing band could be heard by NAIDOC marchers completing their journey across the Burnett Bridge.
They ended their march from the Bundaberg CBD with a family event that included a smoking ceremony, music, and a talent show.
"Voice, treaty, truth" marchers of all ages chanted. Some wore shirts advocating for a treaty.
"We want our truth told, because it's our voice, because it's our land, because it's our culture," they said.
Warriors Descendants dancers performed at the front as marchers waited at traffic lights and Bundaberg and District Naidoc Committee chairman Robert McLellan led the chant with a microphone.
"This year we ramped it up with the sound, we're nice and loud," Mr McLellan said during the NAIDOC family fun day at Lions Park North.
"My father rang up on the phone over in East Bundaberg. He could hear us. Every year we're getting people more and more involved, but that's the most amazing thing; how many organisations and groups come together as well to support this."
Gidarjil Development Corporation's managing director Kerry Blackman said indigenous people would have been restricted from entering the CBD 30 years ago.
"It would have been a curfew for them to go into the town area and they were treated as fringe dwellers," he said. "I applaud them how they brought the future generations through that and we're still here today, and we have survived.
"I really think of our ancestors and how proud I am and how proud they would be of us today that we're still here."
NAIDOC organisers now focus on making the Bundy Gala Ball a success. Tickets are $100. The ball starts on Saturday at 6pm at the Brothers Sports Club.