HUNDREDS of residents throughout the Upper Hunter acknowledged a significant event this week.
While the Wanaruah NAIDOC Committee conducted its annual Fun Day at Muswellbrook's Simpson Park on Monday, neighbouring Singleton also got in on the act.
A flag raising ceremony, traditional dancing, croc encounter show and petting zoo headlined the town's biggest ever NAIDOC Week extravaganza on Wednesday.
More than 500 people gathered on the Civic Lawn in celebration of the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Singleton mayor Sue Moore joined local indigenous community groups for a flag raising ceremony, which included a Welcome to Country by Uncle Warren Taggart and traditional dancing from the Mixed Mob Dancers group.
"NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for us to all come together as a community to celebrate the rich history, culture and achievements of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people here in Singleton," she said.
"And, it's also timely to recognise the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait culture to the identity, the evolution and the social fabric of Singleton.
"Sharing knowledge and understanding of indigenous and Torres Strait Island cultures, and the way we have come together for this event today, means we can all continue to grow together in unity.
"I want to extend a massive thank you to the Aboriginal Advisory NAIDOC Week Sub-Committee for the incredible job they have done in coordinating the art competition and event program - it was a fantastic day of cultural enrichment and most importantly, plenty of fun and entertainment."
Singleton's NAIDOC Week event was supported by MACH Energy Mt Pleasant Operation, Commonwealth Bank, Glencore and Bunnings and an extensive list of businesses and community organisations.
Meanwhile, Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon told the crowd at Muswellbrook that NAIDOC Week meant many things to many people.
"It's not just an opportunity to celebrate the culture of our indigenous Australians," he said.
"It is also a time to reflect on past wrongs and commit ourselves to future equality of opportunity and empowerment.
"We need to learn lessons from the indigenous people - and work together as one."