NAIDOC Week: Recognising and Respecting Elders

NAIDOC Week: Recognising and Respecting Elders

 “NAIDOC Week is a time of pride and happiness, when we get together to celebrate the achievements of our people, our families and our communities.

It's also a time of remembrance, when we think of our ancestors, and show respect and gratitude for their strength, wisdom, stories and humour.”   Sally Morgan, ILF Ambassador. Sally belongs to the Palkyu people, from the Pilbara in the north west of WA. She is a writer and an artist, and works at the School of Indigenous Studies at the University of Western Australia.

During this year’s NAIDOC Week, 6-13 July, we’re showing respect to elders. The theme is Serving Country – Centenary and Beyond, focusing on recognising the Indigenous people who have served in Australia’s defence forces.

NAIDOC Week is held every year in the first week of July. It celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and recognises the contributions that Indigenous Australians make to our society and our country. NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee and dates back to the 1920s when Aboriginal groups protested the status and treatment of Indigenous Australians.

During this year’s NAIDOC Week, 6-13 July, we’re showing respect to elders. The theme is Serving Country – Centenary and Beyond, focusing on recognising the Indigenous people who have served in Australia’s defence forces.

Elder May O’Brien, an ILF Ambassador, remembers that during the Second World War she and other students at the Mt Lawley Mission school in Perth would knit jumpers for soldier Jimmy Brennan from Kalgoorlie.

“We were so proud of him. We’d take care not to drop any stitches. And we’d save what money we could to buy packages for him.”

Many schools and libraries across Australia are holding Great Book Swaps and other events during NAIDOC Week to raise funds for our Foundation. Stanton Library is holding a Great Book Swap and heritage talk on the 11 July with local Aboriginal Educator, from the Aboriginal Heritage Office, Karen Smith is a Darug woman of the Boorooberongal clan from the Hawkesbury (Derrubin) area.

See the NAIDOC events calendar for events near you!  

  • Posted 27 June, 2014

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