ROLE MODELS: Pauline Donnelly, Heather Monaghan, Carmel Monaghan and Dorothy Daley at the flag-raising ceremony.
ROLE MODELS: Pauline Donnelly, Heather Monaghan, Carmel Monaghan and Dorothy Daley at the flag-raising ceremony. Ebony Stansfield

NAIDOC theme extra special for Carmel

CARMEL Monaghan showed how extra special this year's NAIDOC theme Because of her, we can is in a heartfelt speech dedicated to her mother at a NAIDOC Week event.

As an Aboriginal liaison officer for Grafton Base Hospital, Ms Monaghan connects with communities across the Clarence Valley from Baryulgil to Yamba.

During the NAIDOC flag-raising ceremony at Grafton Base Hospital she spoke of her mother, Elder Heather Monaghan who was in the audience, and the impact she made on her life.

"A thank you to my dear mum, for all her support and for being the role model in my life," she said.

"Mum, I wouldn't have become the woman, grandmother or mother I have become today.

Mum, you have given me the courage and strength to believe in myself to become the strong proud aboriginal woman I am today.

"You have created a path for me and instil my identity, love and respect and give me guidance and patience."

"Mum, we have cried a lot together and have had many laughs, these memories I will treasure forever."

"But mostly Mum, you have given me the courage and strength to believe in myself to become the strong proud Aboriginal woman I am today.

"For all that I have achieved within my life it is because of you. Thank you Mum.

"Because of all mums, we can," she concluded.

Ms Monaghan said NAIDOC week was about acknowledging culture, carrying the culture on for younger generations and being proud of who they are.

"The theme for this year's NAIDOC is extra special because we have a lot of strong Aboriginal Elders and Aboriginal women in our community who have paved the way for our upcoming generations and who are being role models for their families," she said.