San celebrates NAIDOC Week

San chaplain Kym Cross, Pastor Henry Dunn, artist Darleen Cooper and Pastor Richie Reid.

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A colourful new painting by Indigenous artist and former Sydney Adventist Hospital patient Darleen Cooper was gifted to the San as part of NAIDOC Week celebrations.

The painting, called “Healing Hands, My Journey”, is deeply personal and a portrayal of Ms Cooper’s own journey to regained health at Sydney Adventist Hospital following surgery.

At a leadership meeting, Ms Cooper spoke of her desire to give back to the hospital and its people who had cared for her. “My original thought was to donate one that I had at home, but after looking at the ones I had at home, I knew I had to create something new and unique,” she said.

“AHCL was thrilled to receive a painting from Darleen Cooper as an expression of her gratitude for the care she received following surgery in 2022,” said Adventist HealthCare CEO Brett Goods. “Darleen is obviously a gifted artist and we look forward to displaying this artwork to the benefit of patients, visitors and staff.”

Earlier Richie Reid, associate pastor at Wahroonga Adventist church, had opened the leadership meeting with a moving acknowledgement of country while Pastor Henry Dunn, a senior Indigenous minister, played the didgeridoo. Pastor Reid shared an acknowledgement of country with all staff at the San to kick off NAIDOC Week celebrations. 

The history of NAIDOC Week stretches back to 1920, when initially a day of protest. Since that time, it has evolved into a week-long celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, culture and history. Held each year at the beginning of July, NAIDOC Week is a great opportunity for all Australians to learn about Australia’s First People’s.

This year’s theme, “For Our Elders”, recognises the role elders have played and continue to play in Indigenous communities and families. They are the cultural knowledge holders, teachers and sources of inspiration.  

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