National Aboriginal and Islander Day (NAIDOC) in Sydney
Monday June 22nd, 2015
NAIDOC Week is one of the most important cultural celebrations that is held in Australia, and even if you are just a visitor to the country you are most likely to have heard of it. But what exactly is NAIDOC Week?
Firstly, the term NAIDOC stands for National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee, and the weeklong observance is held in celebration of the rich culture, heritage, history, achievements and contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Although its origins can be traced back to the 1920s, the committee was first officially formed on Australia Day in 1983 by a group of Aboriginal people who congregated to protest against the mistreatment of Aboriginal people all over Australia.
NAIDOC Week takes place every year in the first week of July, and while the celebrations previously used to concentrate around mainly Indigenous areas, more and more Australians are joining in all over the country. It is now made up of highly publicised events all over Australia.
So, what is the theme this year?
Every year the NAIDOC Committee chooses a new theme for NAIDOC week, and the theme for this year was recently announced –
We all Stand on Sacred Ground: Learn, Respect and Celebrate
The main idea behind this theme is to celebrate the deep connection that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have with the land and sea. The focus this year is on the people who vigorously work to conserve Australia’s land, sea and culture. Places of sacred significance in particular will be documented throughout the week, in a bid to get young and old Australians alike to learn the traditional names and stories behind these sacred places.
How can you celebrate NAIDOC Week in Sydney?
NAIDOC Week is celebrated countrywide, and you will find events and celebrations all over Australia. However if you are based i
n Sydney and want to take part in the celebrations, then there are a few special events to choose from.
The following events are just some of the awesome things taking place in Sydney during NAIDOC week:
The NAIDOC Week History Tour: This activity takes place in the area of Glebe, and will focus on the rich cultural heritage of the area. Participants can look forward to bus tours, which are led by a local Aboriginal Tour guide.
Lunchtime Screenings: The Museum of Contemporary Art will be screening films made by Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Filmmakers. Screening will be held during lunchtime throughout the week.
Inner City Family and Sports Day: This activity takes place on July the 10th, and it’s a tradition that spans 25 years. Held in Redfern, it is the perfect day out for the older and younger generations with rides, BBQs, sports and information stalls.
NAIDOC Flag Raising Ceremony: This significant event takes place on Monday the 6th of July, and spectators can enjoy tea, guest speakers and performances.
NAIDOC in the City: There will be a celebration of all sorts in Hyde Park on Monday the 6th, with traditional food and drinks, performers, arts and dance. It’s a great day out at the park while learning important facts about Australia’s rich cultural background.
What can YOU do for NAIDOC Week?
NAIDOC Week doesn’t only revolve around big events and festivals but also around the smaller actions, and everyone is encouraged to do their part in celebrating. There are some things you can do to celebrate NAIDOC Week to show your support, such as displaying the NAIDOC posters, make NAIDOC Week trivia quizzes, run an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts competition, research and cook traditional meals, and hold a flag raising ceremony.
NAIDOC Week is one of the most important and celebrated weeks in Australia, and as you can see there is no shortage of way to get yourself involved in the festivities.