As of July 4, NAIDOC Week officially began, announcing the start of a week for our Indigenous communities and Australians from all walks of life to celebrate the First Nations people‘s culture, history and achievements.
As for this year’s theme, “Heal Country, heal our nation”, this week will focus on the concept of ‘Country’. As per NAIDOC, “Country is inherent to our identity. It sustains our lives in every aspect—spiritually, physically, emotionally, socially, and culturally. It is more than a place.”
However, First Nations people want to call for recognition of Country and the effect we’ve had on its survival. The week ahead plans to call for “stronger measures to recognise, protect, and maintain all aspects of our culture and heritage for all Australians”, as well as seeking “greater protections for our lands, our waters, our sacred sites and our cultural heritage from exploitation, desecration, and destruction”.
Additionally, the upcoming days are a vital call to recognise the culture and values of the Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders and to equally respect the same cultures and values of all Australians.
Below, we break down exactly what you need to know about NAIDOC week, and how you can show your support.
What Is NAIDOC Week?
A committee that was once responsible for the week and its events, the week was originally named NADOC, and stood for ‘National Aboriginal Day Observance Committee’. However, in 1991, the committee wished to recognise Torres Strait Islander people and culture, leaving the week to be renamed to NAIDOC, ‘National Aboriginal and Islanders Day Observance Committee’.
This year, NAIDOC Week begins on July 4 and is celebrated until its last day on Sunday, July 11.
Every year, the National NAIDOC Awards Ceremony takes places at a different focus city, which is selected by the National NAIDOC Committee, along with the National NAIDOC Poster Competition and the NAIDOC Awards recipients.
Celebrations during NAIDOC Week are encouraged by the community and are often organised by said communities, government agencies, local councils, schools and workplaces.
How Can You Support NAIDOC Week?
For those looking to share their support of NAIDOC, there are multiple ways to do so, ranging from Indigenous film and TV to social media and supporting Indigenous-owned small businesses.
Educate Yourself Through Indigenous Film And TV
Along with films and documentaries about the history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, one can also head to NITV for their week-long content around the event.
To celebrate the week, the channel will bring back its popular and Australia’s first Indigenous breakfast television program, Big Mob Brekky, with hosts Shahni Wellington, Ryan Liddle and Tyrone Pynor.
Created by First Nations people, the morning program will bring the “best First Nations yarns, plenty of black secrets for anyone wanting to learn more about First Nations culture and all complemented, of course, by some proper lovely feeds for everyone tuning in,” according to their website.
In addition to Big Mob Brekky, a range of documentaries, movies and current affairs programs will fill the week, including programs like History Bites Back, Living Black and Samson & Delilah to name a few.
Show Your Support On Social Media
In celebration of the week, NAIDOC Week’s official Instagram is sharing banners and posters for those celebrating to update their profiles with. The account is also sharing local Indigenous-owned businesses to support and bringing together those who reside on different lands within the country.
And for those who post on social media, using the official NAIDOC Week hashtags #NAIDOC2021 and #healcountry is encouraged.
Support Indigenous-Owned Businesses
No matter whether it’s NAIDOC week or not, it’s always important to celebrate small businesses and First Nations peoples, so for those looking to support businesses run by Indigenous entrepreneurs—or Indigenous charities and campaigns—be sure to keep a list on your radar all year around.
Head here to see our list of some incredible Indigenous-owned business to support.
How Can You Celebrate NAIDOC Week?
No matter where you live, there are an array of NAIDOC Week celebrations—virtual and in person—to partake in all around the country this week.
National Indigenous Art Fair
Taking place at The Rocks in Sydney, the National Indigenous Art Fair (NIAF) is an ethical marketplace, offering a unique opportunity to buy artworks directly from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from remote community-owned art centres from the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia. This year, the event will also feature a vibrant program of live music and Aboriginal dance performances, an Indigenous sculpture walk, weaving circles and more than 25 Black Markets stallholders from around New South Wales selling art, jewellery, gifts, homewares, and Indigenous bush food and plants. For more details, head here.
NAIDOC Up Late
NAIDOC Up Late will see musical icon Mo’Ju (AKA Mojo Juju) and emerging electro-pop duo AYA J for an intimate evening of music to heal country on Barangaroo Reserve’s beautiful Stargazer Lawn. An al fresco evening of music and vibes, NAIDOC Up Late also features First Nations cultural dance performances and a bespoke food experience for A-Class ticket holders, alongside a musical line-up that spans modern R&B, pop, electro and blues. For more details, head here.
Truth, Telling And Healing
Located at Warrnambool Art Gallery in Warrnambool, Victoria, this event will see conversations of Truth, Telling and Healing through poetry written and performed by Charmaine Clarke and songs written and performed by Brett Clarke. For more details, head here.
NAIDOC Wild Foods And Cultural Festival
The second annual NAIDOC event takes place in Southern Queensland and features a huge line up of talented Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists including Australia’s Got Talent alum Chris Tamwoy, a menu and tours of traditional bush tucker food, live cultural demonstrations and workshops, tourism information tents, market stalls, food trucks, and tons of free family entertainment for the kids including arts and crafts, games and face and boomerang painting to name a few. For more details, head here.