VIDEO: Darumbal women celebrated as hundreds march in Rocky
GENERATIONS of mothers, aunties, sisters, daughters, and friends were in the hearts of hundreds of people marching through Rockhampton to celebrate NAIDOC Week.
The annual march travelled from City Hall across the Fitzroy River, known as Tunooba in the Darumbal language.
It was the first time Gloria Malone, A Darumbal woman, has been able to march on her homeland in many years, adding to the significance of the event.
Gloria said the theme ('Because of Her, We Can') was so important to NAIDOC Week as women were often forgotten in recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community achievements.
Gloria and her sister Rose Malone were thinking of their mother as they marched today, saying she had been "the driving force" in the family.
"I've been fortunate enough to be surrounded by a lot of role models in my life, especially my mother who is no longer here," Gloria said.
"All those women played such a significant role in my life.
"The way our mother brought up us, she was the backbone of our family. My father went to work which was great, he kept a roof over our head.
"Both our parents taught us to be respectful to one another, but mum was the disciplinary person.
"She was the one who kept us in line.
"Women are more the givers.
"There are not many people who give back to them.
"This is the perfect opportunity with this theme, 'Because of Her We Can', that we're actually going to be giving back."
Rose said their mother raised eight children in "harsh" times, living in a tent when she had their first child.
"She kept part of our language alive," she said.
"As kids growing up we thought it was just words we used in our family, but it was the Darumbal language."
Gloria said an important part of the NAIDOC celebrations was seeing culture and history passed on through new generations.
But it's not something she's worried about when it comes to Darumbal people.
"We've got some great, wonderful leaders coming up in the community," she said.
"It's a wonderful time to reflect on our young leaders here and nourish them."
Rose said the celebration was a huge achievement, considering speaking traditional languages was banned.
"I am really proud of the young people taking it on board, I think it's a fantastic thing and I love our NAIDOC events," she said.