NAIDOC Week celebration at CGH – 1 July 2022

Central Gippsland Health held a flag raising at the front of the Sale campus on Monday to mark NAIDOC Week which this year has the theme of Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!

Staff and community came together as one for the event which celebrates and recognises the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
CGH Koori Liaison Officer, Sandra Neilson, performed the Welcome to Country, CGH staff raised the flag and 15 Aboriginal children performed a traditional dance.

Lynette Bishop spoke on behalf of the local Aboriginal community and Gippsland CGH Board Chair, Jim Vivian, spoke on behalf of the health service.

Ron Leatham, a local Aboriginal man and CGH Chief Executive Officer, Mark Dykgraaf, jointly judged the Aboriginal Art Competition, held annually between CGH departments/hospitals and aged care facilities with the winner receiving a painting purchased from the Ramahyuck Arts and Craft shop.

Coincidentally, the painting selected as the prize was by Deborah Leon, a former member of the CGH Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee.

Mr Dykgraaf said CGH staff had always celebrated NAIDOC Week and he was particularly proud of initiatives that demonstrated how CGH was living the theme of Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!
This includes the ongoing Aboriginal traineeship program, the appointment of a Koori Liaison Officer, the continuous running of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee making key decisions within the health service, an organisational wide Reconciliation Action Plan, celebrating key cultural dates and shortly the renaming of meeting rooms to significant Gunai Kurnai language.

“This list is a small example of just some of the work that goes in day in day out to take steps to become heroes and champions of change, of equal rights and even basic human rights,” Mr Dykgraaf said.

To learn more about NAIDOC Week, go to

For more information contact Lynne Smith on 0437 918 234 or email


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