NAIDOC Week 2021: Everything you need to know

This year, it's all about Heal Country.
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Sunday marked the beginning of NAIDOC Week 2021, but 2021’s theme holds special significance.

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Usually held in the first week of July, NAIDOC Week is a time to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Though it’s now a time of celebration, it originated in the 1920s when Aboriginal rights groups came together to protest. January 26 1928 was known as the Day of Mourning and was one of the first significant civil rights gatherings in the world.

NAIDOC originally stood for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’ and the committee was once responsible for organising national activities. 

The 2021 theme is Heal Country.

“Country is more than a place. Country is family, kin, law, lore, ceremony, traditions, and language,” the official NAIDOC Week site says.

“Healing Country means embracing First Nation’s cultural knowledge and understanding of Country as part of Australia’s national heritage. The right to protect Country and culture is fundamental. Destruction and desecration of our sacred lands or ancient sites – some of the oldest human occupation sites on the planet – is an enormous loss for both our nation and the world.

“But to truly heal Country we have more to do.”

NAIDOC Week also celebrates the outstanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander citizens and communities in the National NAIDOC Awards.

Categories include Person of the Year, Youth of the Year, and Scholar of the Year.

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Towns and cities around Australia hold events during NAIDOC Week and people around the nation can celebrate via music, dance, film and even through fashion.

Things you can do this week to celebrate include:

  • Talk to someone in your community about this year’s theme
  • Watch special NAIDOC Week shows on ABC/SBS/NITV – there are also heaps of great shows and movies on Netflix
  • Read a book written and published by Indigenous authors
  • Listen to music or podcasts by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists
  • Research the Indigenous history of where you live and the country name

For more information, visit the official site here.

Happy NAIDOC Week 2021!

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