Sunday 8 November marks the beginning of NAIDOC Week, a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, languages and histories. This week is a time to listen and learn from the voices and stories of First Nations Peoples - who are part of the oldest living cultures on the planet.
This year’s theme, Always Was, Always Will Be, encourages us to celebrate the true history of our country. For over 65,000 years, this land has been lived on and looked after by First Nations Peoples - Australia’s first storytellers, first artists, and first explorers. We encourage everyone to take this week as an opportunity to acknowledge our shared past, and look together towards the future.
There are many ways to celebrate NAIDOC week, both by attending events and virtually from home. To help you begin, we’ve compiled a list of different ways to get involved.
Our Foundation is celebrating the week and theme, by producing a video montage with submissions from First Nations Peoples across the country, as well as sharing a series of interviews with Yolngu woman Liandra Gaykamangu, Garigal/Gadigal man Adam Byrne, and Murrawari/Budjiti man Uncle Bruce Shillingsworth on our YouTube and social media channels.
As NAIDOC Week closes on Saturday 14th November, tune in to Facebook Australia, NAIDOC, and NITV's Facebook pages to watch NAIDOC LIVE: Celebrating Blak Excellence on Saturday 14 November at 6pm. Hosted by Mitch Tambo and featuring ILF ambassadors Jessica Mauboy and Shelley Ware plus Ash Barty, Archie Roach, Wayne Quilliam and more.
Use this week as an opportunity to watch these videos, or films that feature First Nations’ voices, filmmakers or creators, such as In My Blood it Runs, The Australian Dream, and Freeman. These films are poignant, thought-provoking, and a must-watch for all Australians. If you're not sure where to start, SBS have curated a week's worth of feature films and documentaries, for every night of NAIDOC Week. Check out their line-up here.
At the ILF, our team read or listened to Tara June Winch’s The Yield as part of an internal bookclub for NAIDOC week. Reading is a great way to get your friends, family or colleagues involved in the week, and learn from Indigenous voices and perspectives. Other fantastic books we’d recommend include Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe, Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia edited by Professor Anita Heiss, and Finding the Heart of the Nation by Thomas Mayor.
For younger readers, we’d suggest checking out Young Dark Emu and Found by Bruce Pascoe, Took the Children Away by Archie Roach, Aunty's Wedding by Miranda Tapsell and Joshua Tyler, or Respect by Aunty Fay Muir.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people come from many different and distinct groups, each with their own culture, customs and language. With this year’s theme in mind, take the time to learn about the Country and traditional owners of the land you are living on. A great resource for this is the AIATSIS website, which provides a starting point for learning.
Music icon Archie Roach has also recently launched the Archie Roach Stolen Generations resources to honour the 30th anniversary of Took the Children Away, from his multi-award-winning 1990 debut album Charcoal Lane. We suggest that everyone take the time to explore and engage with these resources, which aim to ignite a sense of place, belonging, community and identity for all Australians.
NAIDOC Week events are held all across the country, and we encourage everyone to get involved with their local community during this week. The NAIDOC website has an accessible link of registered events - simply type in your postcode to find one near you!
If you’re unable to attend an event in person, our good friends at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE) are holding virtual events all throughout the week! Check out their line-up of beautiful events here.
“It’s about seeing, hearing and learning the First Nations’ 65,000+ year history of this country - which is Australian history. We want all Australians to celebrate that we have the oldest continuing cultures on the planet and to recognise that our sovereignty was never ceded.” - NAIDOC Website.
Always Was, Always Will Be.