NAIDOC Week is a celebration held each year in the first full week of July (Sunday to Sunday) across Australia, to recognise the history and celebrate the culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
NAIDOC Week origins can be traced back to the 1920’s to the emergence of Aboriginal groups that committed to increased awareness about the status and treatment of First Nation peoples. They used their voice to protest that Indigenous people were neither respected not heard, and that a change needed to happen. You can read the timeline about NAIDOC History here.
Over time, this event evolved into an annual protest and commemoration. It has become a nationally recognised celebration that enriches the unity among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
Image: For Our Elders, National NAIDOC Week Artwork for 2023 by Bobbi Lockyer, a proud Ngarluma, Kariyarra, Nyulnyul and Yawuru artist.
“Where there is knowledge there are our Elders. Our Elders paved the pathways for us, taught us our knowledge, our history, they passed down their art, stories, and wisdom. Our Elders are the foundation of our communities and role models for our children” Bobbi Lockyer
NAIDOC Week has featured diverse themes that relate to struggle, experience and longing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The National NAIDOC Week theme for 2023 is 'For Our Elders’. This theme invites us to reflect on and respect Our Elders and acknowledge their wisdom and resilience. It also emphasises the importance of intergenerational connections and celebrates their legacy in the community and beyond.
The theme this year also reaches out to all Australians as we prepare for the Referendum on the Voice. By ensuring the Referendum is passed, we honour the people who holds the living truth of our history and the foundation of our communities. To learn more about Voice to Parliament click here.
Here a reflection from our Education & Youth Justice Manager, Matt Norris:
“As a proud Wiradjuri man, NAIDOC week holds a deep significance for me as it embraces 'For Our Elders' being this year’s theme. This year’s celebration pays homage to resilience and cultural richness passed down by our respected elders but also highlights essential roles in shaping our identity and guiding us towards a stronger future.
This year’s theme resonates deeply within me, urging me to honour and support with voices and stories of our elders, warranting that their experiences and teachings continue to thrive and echo in our communities.
In conclusion NAIDOC week fuels my commitment to safeguarding our cultural legacy, strengthening the voices of our elders, and ensuring that their stories and teachings continue to guide and inspire us for generations to come.
I hope everyone has a great NAIDOC Week 2023.”
Marist180 is proud to celebrate NAIDOC Week each year, coming together to honour and celebrate the invaluable and ongoing contribution of our First Nations peoples to Australia and its society, and we are looking forward to the 2023 theme of 'For Our Elders'.