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All The Ways You Can Celebrate And Support NAIDOC Week In 2020

Always was, always will be

Sunday, November 8, marked the beginning of NAIDOC Week, a time for all Australians to celebrate the deep history and achievements of our First Nations people. This year’s theme, ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’, is recognising how “First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years”—below, we breakdown exactly what you need to know, and how you can show your support. 

What Is NAIDOC Week? 

Originally, NADOC stood for ‘National Aboriginal Day Observance Committee’, a committee once responsible for organising the week’s events. In 1991, the name was changed to NAIDOC, ‘National Aboriginal and Islanders Day Observance Committee’, to recognise Torres Strait Islander people and culture.

Traditionally, NAIDOC Week is celebrated in July, but was pushed back in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and is being celebrated from November 8 to November 15 this year. 

Along with recognising the traditional custodians of the land, the week is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and to support your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. 

How Can You Celebrate NAIDOC Week In 2020?

Throughout this week, there are plenty of virtual and in-person events being held across the country.

‘Dance Rites’ at the Sydney Opera House

From Wednesday, November 11 to Saturday, November 14, the Sydney Opera House will broadcast the heats from Australia’s annual First Nations dance competition. The event is a powerful coming together of traditional customs, language and contemporary culture. For more details, head here.

After-Hours at the Sydney Art Gallery

Sydney’s Art Gallery of NSW has taken its weekly after-hours session online, with its next two additions focusing on NAIDOC Week. On Wednesday, November 11, you can join a discussion between author and presenter Yumi Stynes; Aboriginal rights activist and proud Bundjalung woman Vanessa Turnbull-Roberts; and four-time Archibald Prize finalist Blak Douglas (aka Adam Douglas Hill). For more details, head here.

Deadly Hearts

A group of First Nations musicians have come together to celebrate NAIDOC Week by creating an album called “Deadly Hearts: Walking Together”. In the album, which includes artists Mitch Tambo, Stan Walker and Isaiah Firebrace, take on songs that are iconic to them, and one that has inspired them and holds a special place in their identity. For more details, head here

Under 5s at the National Gallery of Victoria

Throughout the week, the National Gallery of Victoria will be hosting online sessions designed for children aged two to five years. The virtual events will have families learning about this year’s theme of ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’ and find out about Wurundjeri man William Barak, who used art as a way to record and preserve his culture for future generations. It will be followed by an art-making demonstration which encourages children to learn more about the traditional custodians of the land where they live. For more details, head here.

To see a full list, visit NAIDOC’s official website here

walking together

Educate Yourself Through Indigenous Film And TV

There is plenty of informative and gripping series, films and documentaries about the history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and this week is a great time to give some a watch. 


To celebrate the week, NITV has created an entire week of content dedicated to the NAIDOC theme. That includes an exclusive musical event, Australia’s first Indigenous breakfast television program, Big Mob Brekky, a range of documentaries, movies and current affairs programs. The lineup also includes education resources available to schools nationally to help students learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and history.

Get Involved On Social Media

To celebrate the week, Facebook and Instagram announced its partnership with NAIDOC. Instagram launched three new Stories stickers designed by Tyrown Waigana, the Noongar and Saibai Islander artist behind this year’s NAIDOC Week poster, while Facebook has introduced new stories templates and music designed by Indigenous creators and artists, with the social platform also committing to publishing a Reconciliation Action Plan in 2021. 

If you do post, be sure to use the official NAIDOC Week hashtags: #NAIDOC2020 #NAIDOCWeek and #AlwaysWasAlwaysWillBe.

Support Indigenous-Owned Businesses

It’s always important to celebrate incredible small businesses, and this week is a time to show your support to those run by Indigenous entrepreneurs. 

Head here to see our list of some incredible Indigenous-owned business to support. 

It’s also important to celebrate and recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples outside of NAIDOC Week, and here we’ve previously outlined the Indigenous charities and campaigns that always need our help.

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