As we celebrate NAIDOC Week, we want to take a moment to reflect with you about why this week has significance for us as an organisation of people working across this beautiful country.
NAIDOC Week was born from decades of advocacy formed in hard work, relationship building and education. This advocacy was needed because formal recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and culture was absent from our collective understanding for hundreds of years.
Learning from history helps us create a better future. It has taken over 200 years for us to begin acknowledging that terra nullius was never founded in any truth. In fact, it was less than 20 years ago that the fiction of terra nullius was overturned by the High Court.
The 2020 NAIDOC Week theme of ‘Always was, Always will be’ reminds us that we need to lay down a new history to recognise that the land we now share, has always been nurtured, cared for and celebrated by Australia’s First People’s. We need to embed a legacy of recognising what was ignored during European invasion. The best way to do that is through truth telling and celebrating the contribution, storytelling and knowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have and what they share about who we are as a nation.
Image: A map of Australia with language areas highlighted in different colours.
People in the Life Without Barriers community work and live in more than 500 communities across Australia. Each of those communities has a rich history of Aboriginal Culture. We have an obligation as a collective of people to know the land on which we live and work and appreciate the story it carries.
We are fortunate in our organisation to have tremendous leadership from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who provide guidance and insight into how we need to advance our commitment to reconciliation. NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for joyful, spiritual learning. To be open to what we don’t know and to embrace the role Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people have in our past, our present and our future.
We encourage you to connect with the virtual events taking place this week, read, listen and be open to learning and celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and culture in your own community.
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