Heal Country, heal our nation - NAIDOC Week at Life Without Barriers
The National NAIDOC Committee has announced NAIDOC Week celebrations will be held from 4-11 July 2021.
Image: NAIDOC Week Heal Country Poster 4-11 July 2021
This week is NAIDOC Week, a significant week in the Australian calendar where we reflect and celebrate the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture in all of our communities. As we commence this important week, we need to consider the 2021 NAIDOC theme ‘Heal Country, heal our nation’ where we are invited to embrace and deepen our understanding of First Nations’ cultural knowledge through Country.
Our Strategy 2025 inspires us to move towards a more environmentally responsible future for all. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture teaches us the importance of country in an environmental sense but also through spirit and how we connect to the land. Through our support of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, we affirm Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ sovereignty and sacred connection to land and realise how much we can learn from this appreciation.
The NAIDOC 2021 theme – Heal Country, heal our nation – calls for all of us to continue to seek greater protections for our lands, our waters, our sacred sites and our cultural heritage from exploitation, desecration, and destruction.
For generations Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been calling for stronger measures to recognise, protect, and maintain all aspects of our culture and heritage for all Australians.
When Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people talk about Country it is spoken of like a person. Country is family, kin, law, lore, ceremony, traditions, and language. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples it has been this way since the dawn of time.
Through languages and songs, they speak to Country; through ceremonies and traditions they sing to - and celebrate Country – and Country speaks to them. Increasingly, they worry about Country, just as we all should.
Image: Larrakia Elder Richard Fejo performing the saltwater ceremony
As we celebrate NAIDOC Week 2021, we embrace this year’s theme by encouraging you to learn whose Country you are on and to connect to it. To find Traditional Place names, check the AIATSIS Map of Indigenous Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Land Councils, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community organisations in your local area or your local council e.g. City of Sydney Council.
Visit the NAIDOC Week website to access a range of additional information and resources. You can learn whose country you are on, download a NAIDOC virtual background or poster, and join in on social media using the hashtag #HealCountry and #NAIDOC2021.
We will be sharing some of the events we attend and run as well as some stories of our staff and the people we support who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
Find some of our favourite stories below:
Did you know that NAIDOC originally stood for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’. This committee was once responsible for organising national activities during NAIDOC Week and this acronym has since become the name of the week itself. Find out more about the origins and history of NAIDOC Week.
Image: South Australian Public Transport Authority of the SA Department for Infrastructure and Transport has wrapped a tram in the stunning NAIDOC Poster Artwork 'Care for Country' by Maggie-Jean Douglas.
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