Festivities have kicked off for National NAIDOC Week at the RMH, an annual celebration of the history, culture and achievements of our First Nations people.

Staff gathered for a traditional smoking ceremony at the RMH Parkville on Monday morning, with a Welcome to Country from Wurundjeri leader Johnny Terrick and dance group Bandok Tati, along with a reflection from Elder-in-Residence Aunty Marlene Burchill.

NAIDOC week 2023 smoking ceremony
Staff participated in a traditional smoking ceremony in the Mooroop Wa-Lam-Buk Garden at the RMH Parkville.
Aunty Marl and Johnny Terrick at NAIDOC Week 2023
Elder in Residence Aunty Marl pictured with Wurundjeri leader Johnny Terrick.

The ceremony marks the beginning of a week of celebration, which includes a special treat for inpatients and a staff taste testing of native foods that will soon become available to patients as part of the first ‘Mob Meal Plan’ in a Victorian hospital. 

Visitors to the Parkville hospital might also spot a colourful new look for RMH volunteers, who have swapped their red polo shirts for a vibrant design from Yorta Yorta artist Alkina Edwards.

Volunteers in NAIDOC Week 2023 shirts
Volunteers wearing their new NAIDOC Week 2023 shirts with a design by Yorta Yorta artist Alkina Edwards.
Volunteers in NAIDOC Week 2023 shirts (For Our Elders)
The new volunteer shirts reflect this year's NAIDOC theme of 'For Our Elders'.

This year’s NAIDOC theme is ‘For Our Elders’, highlighting the important role of Elders in our community. From passing down sacred cultural practices and traditions, to being trailblazers and advocates, teachers, and leaders that have kept Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultures alive and strong for more than 60,000 years.

The RMH acknowledges and pays respect to Elders past and present, and the people of the Kulin nations on whose lands our health services are built.

Bandok Tati dancers at NAIDOC Week 2023
Wurundjeri mens dance group Bandok Tati perform at the opening ceremony for NAIDOC Week at the RMH.

The RMH will be celebrating our First Nations staff throughout the week and the great care they provide. Follow along on our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Mobile Stroke Unit with Ambulance Victoria paramedic and the RMH Stroke team
Media enquiries

We provide a media service from 6am to 10pm each day. Journalists are welcome to contact our media advisor on-call via the RMH Switchboard on (03) 9342 7000.

During business hours, journalists can email mh-communications@mh.org.au. We do not respond to emails outside business hours.

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Life’s unpredictable. Our response isn’t.

We urgently need to raise $2.5 million for a second CT scanner in our Emergency Department.

This is a vital piece of equipment that provides rapid and accurate diagnosis for trauma and stroke patients like Brianna.