Spirit of the Valley President Idell Wadley. Photo: Ebony Graveur
Spirit of the Valley President Idell Wadley. Photo: Ebony Graveur

Belated NAIDOC date marks return for popular events group

IDELL Wadley’s cookbook collection is neater than it ever has been.

She says it is testament to what one can achieve when cooped up at home during lockdown.

As someone whose world revolves around organising huge community events, it’s an understatement to say the Spirit of the Valley Events Inc president has felt the impact of coronavirus restrictions.

In March, Idell described it as “the worst feeling in the world” when she made the call to cancel all events, after struggling to find a way to make it work.

READ MORE: DOWN THE DRAIN: Six months of cultural events canned

Colours of the Lockyer, Colours of the Somerset, the Lockyer Valley Multicultural Festival, Village of the Doomed, the April Community Connections night and the original NAIDOC week event had to be canned.

But, after several long months without any events, Idell and her team will bring the community together once again with a belated NAIDOC event, a day to observe and embrace Indigenous history.

Between 10am and 2pm on October 2, Ferrari Park Laidley will transform, bringing Aboriginal artists, product stalls, information stalls and a “wonderful little international market with native plants, bush tucker, crafts and fabrics from African and Haiti”.

“Our entertainment line is huge with award-winning performer Sharron Mirri Bell, the Yugara Dancers, Troy Troutman and the McGraths,” Idell said.

“The Aboriginal Centre for Performing will also be performing and we have of course our Deadly Talent Quest which is open to everyone with a $200.00 cash prize pool.”

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With more than 40 vendors and over 500 visitors expected on the day, it may seem like it’s back to normal.

It isn’t – the cost of running a COVID-safe event is steeper than usual and the safety protocols themselves are hard to navigate.

“It’s been really difficult because they are case-by-case and ever-changing – there is a lot of conflicting information and things could change tomorrow,” she said.

“The cost of providing the event has increased dramatically because we need to provide signage, gloves, masks, sanitiser, disinfectant.”

Read more news by Ebony Graveur.