Naidoc Meaning: What does NAIDOC Week mean to you, and what do you think about it? Aboriginal employees and clients of Forensicare share their opinions. Some of the oldest and most enduring Civilizations in the world are those of Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders. The area on which we now stand has been inhabited and cared for by First Nations people for the past 65,000 years. They were Australia’s first settlers, farmers, engineers, educators, artists, and innovators for more than 150 years.
The National Aboriginal Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Week honors First Nations peoples for their heritage, culture, and accomplishments. This event offers a wonderful chance to learn about the cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander coworkers and clients! Aboriginal employees and clients of Forensicare talk about what NAIDOC means to them.
What aspect of NAIDOC would you most like to revisit, if you had to choose just one?
No one memory leaps out, but I’ll admit that my favorite NAIDOC experiences occurred when I was younger. When we were younger, my older brother and I were the only two Aboriginal students in the entire school. I remember feeling a sense of connection to hundreds of other Aboriginal youngsters just like me when we participated in NAIDOC activities since our experiences with racism and prejudice during this time left us feeling alienated.”
Schedule for NAIDOC Week
The first week (from Sunday to Sunday) in July is known as NAIDOC Week and includes the second Friday of the month, which is customarily referred to as “National Aboriginal Day.” NAIDOC Week, which takes place the first full week in July, is a time to celebrate and recognize the accomplishments of persons of Aboriginal ancestry, culture, and heritage.
History of NAIDOC Week is lengthy and colorful
NAIDOC, the National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee! The Day of Mourning was created as a result of Aboriginal communities’ boycott of Australia Day, which is where NAIDOC Week’s roots may be found. Every year between 1938 and 1955, an anti-celebration protest known as the Day of Mourning was held on Australia Day. It was decided in 1955 that Aborigines Day should be a celebration of Aboriginal culture rather than a protest, therefore it was relocated to the first Sunday in July for unclear reasons.
A number of Aboriginal organizations, state and federal governments, and a number of Christian organizations supported the National Aborigines Day Observance Committee when it was established in 1956. All of the nation’s events were put together by this team. In addition, the second Sunday in July was designated as a day to honor Aboriginal people and their culture.
It was decided that the event should last for a week in 1975
NADOC was expanded to encompass the people and culture of the Torres Strait Islands in acknowledgment of the varied cultural histories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The organization adopted the name National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) in 1991. (NAIDOC). This new phrase will be used as the week’s title for the first time ever. People of color can come together to celebrate their past, present, and future as individuals and as a community during NAIDOC Week.
Every year, NAIDOC Week has a distinct theme to reflect the issues and developments of the time. NAIDOC Week honors the history, culture, and accomplishments of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Australians from all walks of life, not only those in Aboriginal communities, honor NAIDOC. NAIDOC Week celebrations are frequently organized by communities, governmental organizations, local governments, schools, and businesses.
The National NAIDOC Awards are presented
The Committee, which chooses the host city, theme, and other significant elements of national NAIDOC events, also selects the winner of the National NAIDOC Poster Competition. At a ceremony and ball held in the host city at the conclusion of NAIDOC Week, the National NAIDOC Awards are presented. The NAIDOC Awards, given out annually by the NAIDOC Foundation, honor Aboriginal Australians who have excelled in their chosen industries or who have significantly improved the lives of Aboriginal people in Australia and around the world.
For many Aboriginal people, attending a NAIDOC ball is a highlight of the year. In order to reconnect with family, establish new friends, and interact with other members of their communities, many travel hundreds of miles to do so. Their situation is hardly unique. I went to the neighborhood government and asked about NAIDOC Week events. I received blank looks when I attempted to explain what that meant. NAIDOC Week serves some Aboriginal people as a chance to consider their challenges rather than their successes.
“The National Day of Remembrance, which is observed on the final Monday in November, was created by the United States in 1788. Why does everything have to be a party only to honor culture and reconciliation? Why is it dangerous to admit the fact of disadvantage, as though doing so prevents us from ever progressing? I won’t celebrate if I don’t feel like it until my people have received the respect they deserve for the agony they have undergone.”
In a blog post that was authored by an Aboriginal woman, the following was stated:
It is about the people who came before us who were tired of being referred to as “animals and plants” and who had constant setbacks whenever they attempted to alter their station in life. Every year, the significance of remembering, celebrating, uniting, and sharing our particular history should be emphasized to all people.
WHAT ARE NAIDOC WEEK’S OBJECTIVES?
Every year, NAIDOC Week is honored in the majority of Australian schools, but what, specifically, are we commemorating? The organization responsible for planning the yearly commemoration is known by the acronym NAIDOC, or National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee. At this crucial time, numerous Indigenous communities in Australia are honoring history, celebrating culture, coming together, and sharing these things with the rest of the nation.
The committee has made this process a little bit simpler for educational institutions like ours by providing a fresh topic each year, which may be used as a basis for learning and reflection. This year’s theme is “Songlines – the living tale of our nation.” Our predecessors used songs to bring the land, the animals, and traditional teachings to life; songlines are the Dreaming pathways that still follow those routes today throughout Australia. They will be recognizable to those familiar with traditional Indigenous art.
In the song, tale, dance, and art, intricate maps of land, sea, and nation are sometimes shown as songlines, which have profound spiritual and cultural value. Songlines are crucial for maintaining Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural practices. One of the most important aspects of our work as parents and educators is making sure that the next generation recognizes the importance of our distinctive approach to documenting the history of the country.
By regularly bringing this to their attention and using it as a consistent means of learning throughout the year, not only with Songlines but with the thought-provoking themes given to us each year during this ever-so-important week known as NAIDOC, we can truly embed the recognition and solidarity of our nation’s communities and history into our practices and the lives of our students.