NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee.
Dating back to the 1920s, this Committee aimed to raise awareness of the treatment and status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. It also organised national activities during NAIDOC Week held each July.
NAIDOC Week celebrations are traditionally held across the country to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities, public health restrictions permitting, and to support your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
The theme for NAIDOC Week 2021 is Heal Country! As explained on naidoc.org.au, Country is more than a place. It is inherent to our identity. We speak about Country like a person, sustaining our lives in every aspect – spiritually, physically, emotionally, socially and culturally.
Heal Country! is a call for all of us to seek greater protections for our lands, waters, sacred sites and cultural heritage from exploitation, desecration and destruction.
This year’s theme also seeks substantive institutional, structural, and collaborative reform – something generations of Elders and communities have always advocated.
Regardless of cancelled events and restrictions around the country, the message is still clear. Let’s acknowledge the heritage and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and focus on protecting our environment for future generations to enjoy.