The Catholic, Anglican and Uniting churches have invited guest speaker Aunty Brenda Mathews to share her story. Brenda was stolen from her Aboriginal family five years after the NSW Government changed its official policy.
She will tell how she used her voice, along with the voices of many other women, to demand a better life, greater opportunities and, in many cases, equal rights, for Aboriginal children, families and people.
Brenda’s story will demonstrate beautifully this year’s NAIDOC week theme, "Because of her, we can!"
Theme of NAIDOC Week
The 2018 NAIDOC Week theme "Because of her, we can!" recognises the amazing contributions made by Indigenous women in all areas of the community.
As detailed on NAIDOC.org.au: “As pillars of our society, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have played – and continue to play - active and significant roles at the community, local, state and national levels.
“As leaders, trailblazers, politicians, activists and social change advocates, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women fought, and continue to fight, for justice, equal rights, our rights to country, for law and justice, access to education, employment and to maintain and celebrate our culture, language, music and art.
“Sadly, the role of Indigenous women in our cultural, social and political survival has often been invisible, unsung or diminished.
“Their achievements, their voice, their unwavering passion give us strength and have empowered past generations and paved the way for generations to come.
“Because of her, we can!”
History of NAIDOC
NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee.
What began as Australia Day protests in the 1920s has now grown to a yearly celebration of Indigenous culture. It encourages the people of Australia to be aware of the status and treatment of the original peoples and culture of this land. In 1956 the second Sunday in July became a day of remembrance for Aboriginal people and an opportunity to celebrate their heritage. ‘NAIDOC Week’ has been celebrated since 1989.
The poster for NAIDOC week 2018, designed by Cheryl Moggs, shows the courage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. Its colourful designs depict stories that demonstrate the spiritual and cultural connections that Indigenous people have between themselves and the land.
The poster displays stars, lands and waterways. It also depicts three women, one representing Torres Strait Islander women carrying culture; the second, Aboriginal women breaking away from oppression and the third, representing all women owning political voices.
The poster and other resources can be found here.