Normally held in the first full week of July, this year’s NAIDOC Week has been pushed back to 8–15 November to ensure the safety of the participating communities in the context of COVID-19.
The theme, “Always Was, Always Will Be”, encourages us to reflect on the ancient, enduring elements of the Aboriginal First Nations culture. It’s an invitation to all Australians to embrace the true history of this country, which dates back thousands of generations.
Here’s why it’s more important than ever to celebrate our First Nations and become involved in NAIDOC Week 2020.
NAIDOC Week: a day of recognition
NAIDOC Week celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The name originally stood for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’ - this was the committee in charge of organising national activities during NAIDOC Week. Today we use the acronym to refer to this event.
Its beginnings stretch back as far as 1938, when Indigenous Australians marched the streets of Sydney, protesting against Australia Day. This was originally known as the Day of Mourning. Between 1940 and 1955, it was moved to the first Sunday of July and named Aborigines Day, thus transitioning towards a celebration of culture. In 1991, it was extended to a whole week of recognition, rather than one day.
NAIDOC Week is a way for Australians from all walks of life to pay their respects to the oldest continuing cultures on the planet: the First Nations. They were Australia’s first explorers, navigators, engineers, farmers, botanists, scientists, astronomers and artists. They were the ones who turned the harshest habitable continent into the rich land we are lucky to call “home” today.
NAIDOC Week 2020
Every year a theme is selected to reflect important issues for NAIDOC. This year’s theme is “Always Was, Always Will Be” - an opportunity to recognise and honour the First Nations that have inhabited and taken care of this continent for more than 65.000 years.
It serves as an acknowledgement of the fact that this nation’s story didn’t begin with the first documented European contact, but with the hundreds of Nations and cultures that have left their footprints on this continent since the dawn of time.
NAIDOC Week gives us a chance to learn from the ancient wisdom of The First People. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people don’t just live on this continent, they have a spiritual connection with it. Their intimate knowledge of the land and deep commitment to community have helped them adapt and evolve not just through climate change, catastrophic droughts, and rising sea levels, but also through the devastating consequences of European occupation and evolving technologies.
They teach us a valuable lesson of survival and growth: true resilience is fueled by the power of community and a great respect for the land. And perhaps it’s the most important lesson to learn in these challenging times.
Roogenic & NAIDOC
At Roogenic we take huge pride in our work with Indigenous communities around Australia. We work closely with our cherished communities and elders to source the best quality, organically grown and wild-harvested ingredients straight from the Australian outback.
As a way of paying our respects to the First Nations and getting involved in NAIDOC Week, we are proud to be donating products to several NAIDOC events including the City of Stirling, Mercy Hospital, Teresa Miller’s Indigenous Centre, Curtin University & Kalgoorlie NAIDOC week celebrations.
NAIDOC Week is an important time to acknowledge, connect and learn with the local Aboriginal community. In the midst of a humbling global crisis, it has become more obvious than ever that our strength lies in community, cultural identity and in working together, not against each other.
You can find out more about this year’s NAIDOC on the official website.