NAIDOC Week 2012
NAIDOC Week, taking place between 1 and 8 July 2012, is a national celebration of the history and achievements of Indigenous Australians.
It's a chance for all Australians to develop a better understanding of and appreciation for the place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the community.
What is NAIDOC Week?
The history of NAIDOC Week goes back to the fight for Aboriginal rights in Australia in the 1920s and 1930s. Organisations such as the Australian Aborigines Progress Association and the Australian Aborigines League were established to draw attention to the living conditions of Aboriginal people and their lack of citizenship rights.
In 1937 Aboriginal leaders William Cooper and William Ferguson planned a 'Day of Mourning' to be held on 26 January 1938 in response to the 150th anniversary of British settlement in Australia. Cooper went on to seek support for the creation of an annual Aborigines Day.
In 1940 the Sunday before Australia Day began to be observed as 'Aboriginal Sunday'. In 1955 Aboriginal Sunday was moved to the first Sunday in July, and in 1957 the National Aborigines Day Observance Committee (NADOC) was formed in cooperation with State and Federal governments, churches and major Indigenous organisations.
By the 1960s and 1970s national focus on Indigenous issues had increased significantly, and in 1975, a year after the NADOC committee became an all-Indigenous committee, Aborigines Day became National Aborigines Week.
In 1985 the name of the committee was changed to NAIDOC to become National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee, to acknowledge Torres Strait Islander People.
Spirit of the Tent Embassy - 40 Years On
The theme of this year’s NAIDOC Week celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy and acknowledges the key contributors to its long history.
Forty years ago, the Aboriginal Tent Embassy became a powerful symbol of unity. Its founders instilled pride, advanced equality and educated the country on the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This theme asks all Australians to think about the sacrifices made by the Tent Embassy founders and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the pursuit of equality and justice, and to ask what their sacrifices mean today.
The NAIDOC Week website also has some suggestions for how to celebrate or acknowledge Indigenous Australia for NAIDOC Week, including:
- Displaying Indigenous posters around your class room
- Inviting local Indigenous elders to speak at your school or workplace
- Listening to Indigenous music
- Studying a famous Indigenous Australian
- Researching the traditional Indigenous owners of your area
- Studying Aboriginal arts and crafts
- Reading a Dreamtime story
- Starting your own Indigenous hall of fame featuring any local role models and achievers
- Visiting Indigenous websites on the Internet
- Visiting local Indigenous sites of significance or interest
- Learning the meanings of local or national Aboriginal place names.
For more info about NAIDOC Week, and a full calendar of NAIDOC Week events, check out the National NAIDOC Week website (new window).
More About Reconciliation
- Reconciliation Victoria educates the public on important issues relevant to Aboriginal Victorians.
- Reconciliation Australia is the national organisation promoting reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the broader Australian community.
- The National Sorry Day Committee works to raise awareness and knowledge of the history and continuing effects of the past and present practices of the removal of Indigenous children from their families.
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