NAIDOC celebrations still on the cards

Past, Present, Future: This years NAIDOC Week theme'
Past, Present, Future: This years NAIDOC Week theme' "Always Was, Always Will Be" celebrates our rich indigenous culture. Photo: Supplied.

The COVID-19 outbreak has affected events and celebrations not just in Australia, but around the world. Despite some normalcy starting to get back into our lives, unfortunately restrictions still mean that a lot of events are still being postponed or cancelled including NAIDOC Week. NAIDOC Week normally runs in July, however the National NAIDOC Committee has decided to postpone NAIDOC Week 2020 to protect the safety for our communities and also to allow true celebrations to occur later in the year.

Cultural celebrations: 2018 NAIDOC Week celebrations held in the Capertee Valley. Photo: Ciara Bastow.

Cultural celebrations: 2018 NAIDOC Week celebrations held in the Capertee Valley. Photo: Ciara Bastow.

The committee said that after taking on-board the advice from government agencies and health experts, it was an easy decision to make. "We all believe that an escalating COVID-19 (Coronavirus) crisis as we head into winter would have disastrous impacts on our mob - especially for our elders and those in our communities with chronic health issues. The National NAIDOC Awards scheduled for Saturday, 11 July in Alice Springs will not go ahead as planned and we have suspended the nomination process for the National NAIDOC Awards 2020 and announcement of the winner of the poster competition until further notice. The 2020 NAIDOC Local Grants Round has also been closed until further notice.

Instead NAIDOC Week will be celebrated from Sunday, November 8 to Sunday November 15 which will allow more events, gatherings and celebrations to be held. The theme for this years event is "Always Was, Always Will Be" and recognises that First Nations people have occupied and cared for the country for over 65,000 years.

The very first footprints on this continent were those belonging to our First Nations peoples.

National NAIDOC Committee

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were Australias first explorers, first navigators, first engineers, first farmers, first botanists, first scientists, first diplomats, first astronomers and first artists, and Australia has the worlds oldest oral stories.

The First Peoples engraved the worlds first maps, made the earliest paintings of ceremony and invented unique technologies and their adaptation and intimate knowledge of Country enabled them to endure climate change, catastrophic droughts and rising sea levels. To find out more about NAIDOC Week 2020 celebrations across the country, visit www.naidoc.org.au

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