NAIDOC Week (derived from the acronym for the group originally responsible for the event, the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee) is an important time to recognise the culture, history and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Though usually taking place in July, this year NAIDOC Week has been postponed to 8-15 November due to COVID-19, and is a great opportunity for not only Indigenous people but Australians from all walks of life to participate in a range of activities and support local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Learn more about the event and the ways you can get involved, below.
Always Was, Always Will Be
First Nations People have occupied and cared for our country for more than 65,000 years and were Australia’s first explorers, engineers, farmers, diplomats, scientists, astronomers, storytellers and artists. The theme for 2020, “Always Was, Always Will Be,” recognises the eminent role that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people played in shaping this great continent to sustainably provide for the future.
“Always Was, Always Will Be” also references a chant recited at many protests and gatherings, where the final line is “Aboriginal land.” It invites us to embrace the true history of Australia, one that dates back thousands of generations.
Ways to Celebrate
During NAIDOC Week, people across the country are encouraged to participate in local community celebrations organised by government agencies, local councils, businesses and schools. To accommodate social distancing guidelines, the activities for 2020 will be a mix of in-person and virtual events, and there are many other ways to celebrate and raise awareness.
Here are a few suggestions for how you can get involved:
- Attend a NAIDOC Week event in your local area (options include art competitions, virtual poetry readings, webinar presentations and video conferences)
- Plan your own NAIDOC event for your friends, colleagues or community
- Learn the meanings of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander place names and words, and visit local sites of significance
- Download the 2020 National NAIDOC Poster, “Shape of Land,” and display it around your classroom or workplace
- Watch a movie about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history or listen to Indigenous musicians
- Use the 2020 National NAIDOC logo in your email signatures and social media profiles
- Research Indigenous history online or visit your library to find books about First Nations Peoples
- Share NAIDOC teaching resources with teachers, schools and students in your area
- Invite local Elders to speak at your school or workplace
How are you planning to participate in NAIDOC Week 2020? We’d love to hear how you’re celebrating!