This week is NAIDOC week! NAIDOC week runs from the 7th to the 14th of July and celebrates the culture, achievements and history of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and peoples within Australia.

The history of NAIDOC week

NAIDOC has been an initiative in the works from as early as the 1920’s, where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups were protesting against the 26th of January being recognised as Australia Day. Over the decades, groups and committees were formed and the Sunday prior to Australia Day became a national day of mourning amongst our Indigenous communities, known as Aborigines Day.

From the 1950’s through to the 1970’s, various Australian church groups, parts of Government, and major Aboriginal organisations supported the forming of NADOC, the National Aborigines Day Observance Committee.

During this time, the second Sunday of July also became an Aboriginal day of remembrance. In 1975 the committee decided that the remembrance event should cover a full 7 days, and be celebrated in the first week of July.

From 1991 onwards, the committee recognised that Torres Strait Islander peoples also had a rich and unique culture, and incorporated this into their cause. The name was then changed to NAIDOC, standing for the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee.

NAIDOC week today

NAIDOC week has grown and developed over the years to a large celebration which is supported by Australians from all walks of life. A range of activities are open for participation, and each year a specific city is chosen to host the NAIDOC awards ceremony. 

NAIDOC awards are an annual tradition, awarding Indigenous people within the community for outstanding community contribution or excellence in their respective field. 

The NAIDOC theme for 2019 is Voice. Treaty. Truth. Lets work together. An excerpt from the NAIDOC website states:

"We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.

The Indigenous voice of this country is over 65,000 plus years old.

They are the first words spoken on this continent. Languages that passed down lore, culture and knowledge for over millennia. They are precious to our nation.

It’s that Indigenous voice that include know-how, practices, skills and innovations - found in a wide variety of contexts, such as agricultural, scientific, technical, ecological and medicinal fields, as well as biodiversity-related knowledge. They are words connecting us to country, an understanding of country and of a people who are the oldest continuing culture on the planet.

And with 2019 being celebrated as the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages, it’s time for our knowledge to be heard through our voice.”


To learn about how you can get involved, and events occurring in your area visit

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