The Hills Gazette followed Acacia Prison's NAIDOC celebrations this week. NAIDOC week is held in the first full week of July to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage, culture and achievements.
Acacia Prison invited Perth NAIDOC Community Person of the Year Laurence Riley (pictured left) to speak at the event on Monday, which included an Aboriginal dance performance and live music. Mr Riley spoke to 50 prisoners about his own experiences in the justice system, and urged them to take advantage of the programs offered in prison to improve their lives. ‘The justice system doesn’t hold you back, but you have to make the change,’ Mr Riley said. He told the group that he was living proof that educational programs can make a difference. Mr Riley is now a member of the Labor Party’s Gosnells/Thornlie branch, and has worked to improve employment services to prisoners upon release.
The outlet said that NAIDOC celebrations at Acacia continued throughout the week, with a roo-tail cook up, football matches and social events in celebration of Aboriginal culture.