This national event is a fantastic opportunity to participate in a range of celebrations, and support our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
Chosen by the National NAIDOC Committee,, this year’s theme is Heal Country! For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, Country is more than a place. Country is family, kin, law, lore, ceremony, traditions, and language. Healing Country means embracing First Nation’s cultural knowledge and understanding of Country as part of Australia's national heritage. Heal Country! – calls for stronger measures to recognise, protect, and maintain all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, unfortunately the Diocese had to postpone our planned NAIDOC Ecumenical Service, and many other activities across the state have been postponed due to the pandemic. But there are still plenty of ways you can celebrate NAIDOC Week! CatholicCare’s Aboriginal Cultural Planner, Dave Dryden, suggested getting involved through the following ways:
- Research what land you currently live or work on using the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) maps.
- Virtually attend one of the many online events available in the official NAIDOC Week calendar.
- Watch a NAIDOC Week special or documentary on SBS or NITV.
- Watch a movie such as Rabbit-Proof Fence, or In My Blood It Runs. There are powerful movies that provide great insight into the Aboriginal culture and what has happened in the past.
- Research Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and try to envision how the experience of Indigenous Australians would make you feel if you were Aboriginal. If you have an Aboriginal friend, colleague or even a neighbour, put yourself in their shoes.
- Be accountable to how we can Heal Country. Healing Country has a massive emphasis on protecting our land. If you notice someone littering, ask yourself how that would impact the land, especially if it is near our waterways or drains.
- Purchase from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander business.
- Find a book or educational resources published by an Indigenous author and illustrator.
- Take a look or research how you can help your local Aboriginal community (i.e. make a donation or signing a petition).
For more information about NAIDOC Week, visit www.naidoc.org.au.