It’s early July and you know what that means? NAIDOC Week’s here and we’re pumped to help celebrate the 65,000-plus years of culture, history and accomplishments of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
This year’s festivities start with NAIDOC’s rallying invitation to ‘Get up! Stand up! Show up!’ – a call-to-action for all Australians to help acknowledge, protect and maintain First Nations cultures and heritages.
It’s a chance for everyone to better understand the challenges facing Indigenous communities – challenges such as the seriously alarming health disparities experienced by our First Peoples.
NAIDOC Week also offers up a beautiful opportunity to honour the traditional custodians of our land … while also paying tribute to the oldest continual culture in the world.
What is NAIDOC Week?
Back in 1938, on Australia Day, one of the world’s first major civil rights gatherings took place with a protest march through the streets of Sydney. This event, followed by a congress attended by more than 1000 people, became known as the Day of Mourning.
From 1940 until 1955, the Day of Mourning was held annually on the Sunday before Australia Day and was known as Aborigines Day. But by 1955, it was decided to shift Aborigines Day to the first Sunday in July – in the hope it would become a celebration of Aboriginal culture, not just a day of protest.
NADOC was then expanded to recognise Torres Strait Islander people and culture and by 1956,
the second Sunday in July become a day of remembrance for Aboriginal peoples and this provided the key dates for NAIDOC Week (then NADOC) that remain today.
How to Get up! Stand up! Show up!
It’s not difficult to get involved. All you need is a curious mind, an open heart and a willingness to work collectively to close the gap.
For instance, you could read up on how to give a proper Acknowledgment of Country … which is the recognised way of paying respect to First Nations peoples as the Traditional Owners and ongoing custodians of the land.
It could be promoting positive and uniting messages on social media, hiring an indigenous contractor, supporting First Nations businesses or going on an Aboriginal tour.
It could be taking the time to educate yourself by reading up on the Indigenous Australian struggle, history or Dreaming, or simply exchanging a story or a moment with a fellow Australian of Indigenous heritage.
Donate to a Not-For-Profit such as ours!
There are some incredibly committed not-for-profit organisations – including South Coastal Babingurr Mia – that are working tirelessly to create equity of opportunity for our First Australians.
For those that accept donations, you can hold a fundraising drive at your workplace, sporting association or social club.
Here at South Coastal Babbingur Mia – where we are dedicated to closing the gap with culturally-safe Aboriginal health services and programs – your donations go a long way.
We gratefully receive all donations via this link: https://www.southcoastal.org.au/getinvolved/donations/