Planning NAIDOC week

9-15 July, 2018 – Because of her, we can

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 Indigenous elders to speak at your school. Consult your local Aboriginal Land Council
  • Listen to Kerry Fletcher’s Sorry Song with excerpts of parliamentary speeches given by the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition on the occasion of the National Apology on 13th February 2008
  • Complete one of the many webquests celebrating Aboriginal Australians available online
  • Check out the Ultimate list of things to do to support Aboriginal culture
  • Listen to Gary Williams and Dallas Walker singing the Gumbaynggirr song Baabaga Birruganba Bularri - the film and lyrics in both English and Gumbaynggirr are on ABC Open
  • Learn a song in language like Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
  • Read contemporary Aboriginal poetry including 'Gumbaynggirr' by Travis Blair
  • Research the traditional Indigenous owners of your area - D R Horton’s Aboriginal Language Map attempts to represent all of the language or tribal or nation groups of Indigenous people of Australia
  • Study a famous Indigenous Australian and collect shared stories about great role models
  • Invite an Indigenous artist to be ‘in residence’ for a week
  • Trace the history of Aboriginal citizenship and NAIDOC Week
  • Consider an Aboriginal Language Program for your school. Seek advice from Aboriginal Education advisors and your local Aboriginal community. Check out how things are done at Wellington PS.
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