NAIDOC Week in Australia each year celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC is celebrated not only by indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life. This week is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and to support local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
NAIDOC originally stood for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day of Observance Committee’. This committee was once responsible for organizing national activities during NAIDOC Week and it has since become the name of the week itself.
The theme of 2019 NAIDOC Week is – “Voice. Treaty. Truth. Let’s work together for a shared future.”
During this week, Brigidine Sisters acknowledge the indigenous people of Australia, give thanks for their care of our land for thousands of years and for their recent Uluru Statement from the Heart. We believe 2019 offers a unique opportunity to hear the voice of the nation’s indigenous people who say: .
“It’s time for our knowledge to be heard through our voice. – an Indigenous voice of this country that is over 65,000 plus years old.”
“They are the first words spoken on this continent. Languages that passed down lore, culture and knowledge for over millennia.”
“They are precious to our nation and need to be celebrated but it’s our voice that needs to be listened too,” he said.
The 2019 theme acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have always wanted an enhanced role in decision-making in Australia’s democracy.
The theme also aims at highlighting our various First Nations’ desires for lasting and effective agreements such as Treaties- which cannot be achieved unless we have a shared, truthful understanding of the nature of the dispute, of the history, of how we got to where we stand.
“The history of our First Peoples is the history of all of us, of all of Australia, and we need to own it – hearing this history is necessary before we can come to some true reconciliation, some genuine healing for both sides. Then we can move forward together.”