What is NAIDOC Week?
NAIDOC Week is an annual event in Australia that honours and celebrates the history and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. In 2023, NAIDOC Week will be celebrated from July 2-9. During this time, communities around Australia come together to recognise and appreciate Indigenous Australians.
NAIDOC Week is the largest celebration of Indigenous culture in Australia. Each year, a new theme is chosen to guide the celebrations, focusing on different aspects of Indigenous culture and history. This year’s theme is “For Our Elders”.
“We pay our respects to the Elders we’ve lost and to those who continue fighting for us across all our Nations and we pay homage to them.”
The letters in NAIDOC stand for National Aboriginal and Islanders Day Observance Committee. This committee plays a crucial role in organising and promoting NAIDOC Week.
NAIDOC Week is celebrated through various activities and events that showcase Indigenous culture. The week opens with the National NAIDOC Week Awards Ceremony, this year hosted in Brisbane, which showcases Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander excellence. Ongoing celebrations include cultural performances and exhibitions, community gatherings, traditional ceremonies, educational programs and workshops, and supporting Indigenous businesses and artists.
NAIDOC Week is intended to increase awareness and understanding of Indigenous culture, history, and achievements among all Australians, and to boost recognition of the ongoing contributions and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Additionally, NAIDOC Week provides a platform to advocate for Indigenous rights and address social and political issues affecting Indigenous communities.
NAIDOC Week has its roots in the Day of Mourning, which was first organised in 1938 by Indigenous leaders to protest the treatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Over time, the event evolved to encompass a week-long celebration and recognition of Indigenous cultures, leading to the establishment of NAIDOC Week.
For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, NAIDOC Week holds deep cultural significance. It is a time to celebrate their heritage, share their stories, and showcase their achievements. It is an opportunity to promote unity, pride, and cultural resilience.
Acknowledging NAIDOC Week promotes reconciliation, understanding, and respect. It provides a platform for non-Indigenous Australians to learn and engage with Indigenous cultures, contribute to positive change, and strengthen relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
In education and childcare, NAIDOC Week is often celebrated by incorporating activities that teach children about Indigenous cultures, such as storytelling, art and craft projects, music and dance sessions, and learning about traditional foods and customs.
Reconciliation Week, beginning on May 27, is often confused with NAIDOC Week. Although they both aim to promote understanding and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, NAIDOC Week specifically focuses on celebrating Indigenous cultures and achievements, while Reconciliation Week encourages dialogue and action towards reconciliation.
NAIDOC Week provides an opportunity for Australians to come together and celebrate the rich and diverse cultures and histories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Engaging in NAIDOC Week encourages greater understanding, respect, and appreciation for Indigenous cultures.
For more information visit www.naidoc.org.au