• Secretary's update

NAIDOC Week 2020, ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’

09 November 2020

Join us in celebrating NAIDOC Week 2020 with the theme ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’.

Two teachers and a group of primary students sitting in circle in giant mandala
Image: NAIDOC Week runs from 8-15 November 2020.

NAIDOC Week is a time to reflect and to celebrate the rich histories, cultures and achievements of Australia’s First Nation Peoples – recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Custodians of the lands and waters and celebrating their ongoing contribution to our country and society.

The theme for NAIDOC Week 2020 is ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’, recognising that First Nations peoples have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years. NAIDOC 2020 invites all Australians to see, hear, learn about and embrace the history of this country which dates back thousands of generations.

We know that the very first footprints on this continent were those belonging to First Nations peoples and that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have maintained ongoing spiritual and cultural connections to the land, waterways and sea. It’s exciting to reflect that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were Australia’s first explorers, first navigators, first engineers, first farmers, first scientists, astronomers and artists.

Thank you to the team in Aboriginal Outcomes and Partnerships for putting together a series of great events, and to the students, teachers, staff and community who have so generously contributed to livestreams, podcasts, interviews and stories we’ll be featuring.

I encourage everyone to join in the virtual NAIDOC celebrations from 9am every weekday morning this week.

NAIDOC Week virtual celebration

NAIDOC Week opening livestream

9am Monday, 9 November 2020

  • Acknowledgement of Country
  • Opening Address from Mark Scott
  • Q and A between Aboriginal students and Mark Scott, Martin Graham, Karen Jones, Cindy Berwick and Michelle Hall.

Embedding cultural practice in schools

9am Tuesday, 10 November 2020

  • Acknowledgment of Country
  • Windale Public School Preschool
  • Terrigal Public School
  • Wilcannia Central School
  • Murrumbidgee Regional High School.

Interview with Benson Saulo

9am Wednesday. 11 November 2020

  • Acknowledgement of Country
  • Benson Igua Saulo, in-coming Consul-General to the US, based in Houston (2021)
  • Tamworth High School
  • Peel High School

Language lesson

9am Thursday, 12 November 2020

  • Acknowledgment of Country
  • Uncle Michael Jarrett delivers a Gumbaynggirr language lesson.

Singing with Uncle Archie Roach

9am Friday, 13 November 2020

  • Acknowledgement of Country
  • Uncle Archie Roach sings ‘Took the Children Away’ and ‘Children came Back’ with:
    • Woronora River Public School
    • Prestons Public School
    • Northern Beaches Secondary School
    • Leichhardt Public School
    • Evans High School.
Watch the events on the NAIDOC Week page.
Mark Scott

About the Secretary

Mark Scott is Secretary of the Department of Education. He has worked as a teacher, in public administration and as a journalist and media executive. He is committed to public education and learning environments where every child can flourish.

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