Members of the community gathered at the Bathurst Regional Council Chambers yesterday to celebrate the opening of NAIDOC Week for 2019.
NAIDOC [National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee] Week is celebrated each year to recognise the history, culture and achievements of Indigenous Australians.
The theme for this year's celebration is Voice, Treaty, Truth.
Bathurst Wiradyuri elder Dinawan Dyirribang [Uncle Bill Allen] said the theme highlights the historic push for acknowledgement and recognition of Indigenous Australian rights.
"The main thing Indigenous Australians have campaigned for over the years is sovereignty: the right to practice our culture and pass on our knowledge to future generations," Dinawan said.
"As Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, we need to work together to heal the scars of the past and that yindyamarra [respect] has to run both ways."
Bathurst mayor Graeme Hanger said the launch of NAIDOC Week coincides with the release of council's Reconciliation Action Plan for 2019-2021.
"The plan will continue to develop respectful relationships and create meaningful opportunities for Indigenous Australians in the community," Mr Hanger said.
NAIDOC Week will run until July 14.