NAIDOC week 2023 is an annual event that is held in Australia. This year it runs from 2 to 9 July.
NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. Its origins can be traced to the emergence of Aboriginal groups in the 1920′s which sought to increase awareness in the wider community of the status and treatment of Indigenous Australians.
NAIDOC Week is a time to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements and is an opportunity to recognise the contributions that Indigenous Australians make to our country and our society.
The week is celebrated not just in the Indigenous communities but also in increasing numbers of government agencies, schools, local councils and workplaces, including Day One Early Learning Centres. We are proud to have a number of team members and families with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage in the Day One community and welcome ideas to incorporate this culture into our knowledge and practices.
We’re proud to announce that the 2023 National NAIDOC Week theme is For Our Elders.
Across every generation, our Elders have played, and continue to play, an important role and hold a prominent place in our communities and families.
They are cultural knowledge holders, trailblazers, nurturers, advocates, teachers, survivors, leaders, hard workers and our loved ones.
Our loved ones who pick us up in our low moments and celebrate us in our high ones. Who cook us a feed to comfort us and pull us into line, when we need them too.
They guide our generations and pave the way for us to take the paths we can take today. Guidance, not only through generations of advocacy and activism, but in everyday life and how to place ourselves in the world.
We draw strength from their knowledge and experience, in everything from land management, cultural knowledge to justice and human rights. Across multiple sectors like health, education, the arts, politics and everything in between, they have set the many courses we follow.
The struggles of our Elders help to move us forward today. The equality we continue to fight for is found in their fight. Their tenacity and strength has carried the survival of our people.
It is their influence and through their learnings that we must ensure that when it comes to future decision making for our people, there is nothing about us – without us.
We pay our respects to the Elders we’ve lost and to those who continue fighting for us across all our Nations and we pay homage to them.
In 2023, how will you celebrate For Our Elders?
Here are some ideas on how to celebrate NAIDOC Week at home or your workplace:
- Display the National NAIDOC Poster or other Indigenous posters around your classroom or workplace.
- Start your own hall of fame featuring Indigenous role models.
- Listen to Indigenous musicians or watch a movie about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history.
- Make your own Indigenous trivia quiz.
- Study a famous Indigenous Australian.
- Research the traditional Indigenous owners of your area.
- Study Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and crafts.
- Create your own Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander art.
- Run an art competition for your school or community.
- Research Indigenous history online or visit you library to find books about Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples.
- Visit local Indigenous sites of significance or interest.
- Learn the meanings of local or national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander place names and words.
- Invite local Indigenous Elders to speak or give a Welcome to Country at your school or workplace.
- Invite an Indigenous sportsperson or artist to visit you.
- Invite Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander dancers to perform.
- Host a community BBQ or luncheon.
- Hold a flag raising ceremony.
- Organise a smoking ceremony.
During this week, all Day One Early Learning Centres will be learning about and celebrating Indigenous culture and history. In addition, some of our amazing Day One team members have an Indigenous background, and we’ll be celebrating this important week with them.
“Here in Australia we’re fortunate enough to have one of the richest and oldest continuing cultures in the world. This is something we should all be proud of and celebrate.”
-Dr Tom Calma AO, Reconciliation Australia Co-Chair
Indigenous Australian Activities
We will be engaging the children in cultural workshops where they can learn firsthand about Aboriginal culture.
The workshops will teach the Preschoolers about Aboriginal culture through storytelling, symbols and Aboriginal dance.
Learning About Aboriginal Country Areas
Australia is made up of many Indigenous country areas and languages – we will be encouraging children to discuss geography and learn about the many languages of Indigenous Australians.
Indigenous Australian Flags
We can develop the children’s understanding of the three official flags of Australia. Through learning and art experiences they will explore the meaning behind The Aboriginal flag and Torres Strait Islander flag.
Here’s how the important meaning behind the Aboriginal flag has been described:
“The Aboriginal Sunrise Ceremonies are very special to our people. It starts when the sky is black, beautiful black. When the sun’s yellow circle arrives, it turns the sky red. This is why the Aboriginal flag is half red, half black with a yellow circle in the middle.”
Aboriginal Art and Symbols
We will be encouraging the children to gather knowledge of Aboriginal culture through symbols and how these symbols traditionally communicate meaning through colourful ochre artworks.
Aboriginal Art has survived for thousands of years and continues to be one of the oldest art forms practiced today. Symbols are very important in Aboriginal Art and communicate many different things such as their lives on earth, their rituals, food, animals, customs and spiritual rituals.