‘Celebrating who we are as a community’: Inside the NAIDOC event at Kimberwalli with Western Sydney Local Health District’s leading teams

Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) proudly hosted two stalls at the NAIDOC celebrations at Kimberwalli on Thursday, 6 October.

Despite some ominous clouds, the wet weather stayed away so attendees from the local community were able to enjoy fruit basket giveaways, access accurate health information and even grab a selfie with a TikTok star.

“We thought it was going to be rained out again and we were waiting with bated breath,” Belinda Cashman, Acting Director of Aboriginal Health Strategy WSLHD said.

The focus of the day was reconnecting with the local Aboriginal community following COVID-19. Health information available spanned topics such as sexual health, vaccination, diet and support for expectant mothers. 

In addition to the information pamphlets and advice from experts in attendance, community members were able to participate in games to win prizes. Huge fruit and vegetable boxes were also available to those people or groups who had a walk-through at the Aboriginal Health team stall.

“Events like this give the community the opportunity to access services that they may not have been able to access or may access in very different ways on a community level,” Belinda said.

“It’s really important for us to be able to get together, especially after the long period of COVID, and celebrate who we are as a community.”

For TikTok star Tristan Davison, this was especially true. Tristan rose to fame on social media during lockdown and this opportunity to connect with fans was particularly special.

“This is my community,” he said, “I was born and raised in this community.”

“I’m getting some photos with some of the mob and some fans – my mouth is a bit sore from all the smiling.”

Sporting an Instagram cut-out banner, Tristan spent time posing for photos and chatting with lots of locals as a guest of the WSLHD Population Health team.

Jasmin Ellis, General Manager of Integrated Community Health WSLHD, said her highlight of the day was seeing the large turnout and engagement of so many community members.

“It’s really exciting to be able to get out and about in the community and talk about all these important things,” she said.

“There are so many kids here – face painting, the didgeridoo out the front and the dancing – it’s really nice to see the younger generation here. It’s a proud moment for our team and the District.”