Aboriginal music and dance celebrated at NAIDOC week celebration | Photos

James Sheahan Catholic High School won the Jason French NAIROC Senior Shield at the NAIROC performance on Wednesday.

The school won the award despite it being the first time it has taken part in the Orange NAIDOC Week activity.

NAIROC co-ordinator and MC Corey McLean said there were 12 schools involved in the show at the Orange Function Centre.

Participants came from from childcare centres and playgroups through to high schools.

They included Kinross Wolaroi School, Glenroi Heights Public School, Orange High School, Orange Anglican Grammar School, Orange Supported Playgroups, Orange Public School, Catherine McAuley Catholic Primary School, James Sheahan Catholic High School, Yarrawong Children’s Centre, Bowen Public School, Canobolas Rural Technology High School and Designing Futures.

The judges were Ann Blair, Danielle Escreet, Gerald Power and Aunty Kathy Markika.

Although NAIROC is technically a competition, Mr McLean said the event was more about participating in and appreciating Aboriginal culture.

He said although a lot of the schools did have Indigenous performers some schools also had non-Indigenous performers.

“In one of the performances today there were a few Sudanese kids,” Mr McLean said.

“[It’s] giving the non-Indigenous community a chance to participate in NAIDOC, they learn how dances are put together and how stories are [interpreted] through dance.”

The junior award was presented to Yarrawon Children’s Centre, which had 10 children perform aged four or five years old, including Ella Bishop who won the Young Buraay Award.

Orange Public School student Madison Gwynne won the Too Deadly Award.

She was one of 30 performers from the school aged from infants to year 6 who performed a traditional Wiradjuri dance that turned into a contemporary dance.