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Rehearsals are currently underway, as 30 young people prepare for the upcoming 2019 Lower Clarence NAIDOC Debutante Ball, which will be held at the Yamba Bowling Club on 11 July. Image: contributed

Lower Clarence NAIDOC Ball is back

Lynne Mowbray |

The Lower Clarence will be holding their NAIDOC Debutante Ball at the Yamba Bowling Club (Bowlo Sports and Leisure Yamba) from 5pm on Thursday night, 11 July.

Nungera Youth Worker Mia Randall said that the last debutante ball in the Clarence Valley was in 2013, which was six years ago.

“I’ve been the youth worker for almost a year and I noticed that we hadn’t had a debutante ball in the Lower Clarence since 2003,” Ms Randall said.

“I wanted to do something for the kids here in the Lower Clarence; something that they could remember.

“I did my debutante ball in 2003 and I know that it’s a night that you remember forever. You have nice photos and your family can come and see you dressed up.

“For me it’s like a good ceremony, because years ago we Aboriginal people used to have traditional ceremonies; and now we don’t do these anymore.

“To me it’s a new, modern way of corroboree and ceremony and initiation. We don’t have this sort of thing here in the Clarence, compared to other places in Australia.

“So this is a way of us showing the community – these are our young people; going from adolescent teenagers into young men and women. So I’d love them to showcase who they are here in the Lower Clarence and to be proud of something.

“I thought that it would be the appropriate time to hold the ball, during NAIDOC Week.

“The NAIDOC Week theme this year is ‘Voice Treaty Truth’, so we’re trying to incorporate the theme into our ball and we’ll have one of the girls speak about what that means to her.

“One of our Elders will do a ‘Welcome to Country’ and then she will explain a bit more about the theme also; so it all ties in together.

“There are 15 couples (30 young people) including two page boys and two flower girls, taking part in the ball.

“They have been rehearsing for the last five weeks, in preparation for the special event.

“It should be a night of fun and celebration and something that these young people will be able to look back on and be proud of,” she said.

For more information about the Debutante Ball or NAIDOC Week events contact: The Nungera office on 6645 3468 Tues-Thurs from 9am – 3pm or check out the Facebook link below.