Planning NAIDOC week

5-12 July 2020 – Always Was, Always Will Be.

NAIDOC week celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC originally stood for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’, the committee responsible for organising national activities during NAIDOC Week. Its acronym has now become the name of the week.

NAIDOC Week has a long history beginning with the human rights movement for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the 1920s. From 1940 until 1955, the Day of Mourning was held annually on the Sunday before Australia Day and was known as Aborigines Day.

In 1955 Aborigines Day was shifted to the first Sunday in July after it was decided the day should become not simply a protest day but also a celebration of Aboriginal culture. Later the second Sunday in July became a day of remembrance for Aboriginal people and their heritage which resulted in NAIDOC week. A timeline of the history of the struggle for Aboriginal rights and recognition can be downloaded from the NAIDOC site.

NAIDOC is not just a celebration for Indigenous communities but for all Australians. The week is an opportunity to participate in a range of activities and to support the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Each year, a theme is chosen for the week to reflect the important issues and events for NAIDOC.

How schools can be involved

  • Stay up to date with the work of NSW Department of Education Aboriginal Education and Communities team
  • Make the protocols of Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Country part of all school assemblies and events
  • Hold a NAIDOC assembly
  • Invite local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander elders to speak at your school. Consult your local Aboriginal Land Council and local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (AECG)
  • Have students complete one of the web quests celebrating Aboriginal Australians available online.
  • Learn a song in language like Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
  • Study a famous Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian and collect shared stories about great role models
  • Invite an Aboriginal artist to be ‘in residence’ for a week or period of time
  • Trace the history of Aboriginal citizenship and NAIDOC Week
  • Find out which Aboriginal language was, or still is, spoken on the land where you live and where you work. Browse the Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages or watch clips about Aboriginal languages via YouTube.
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