Community Support from NAIDOC

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By Kaleem Ullah

National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee Week

The only way for the week of celebration and events can continue is through the NAIDOC Week Resources. These resources provide support for any community that wants to welcome the celebrations to their own town or city, and there are many resources available from school curriculum to special classes and teachings, and grants to hold community events.  

All Australians Come Together This July

This week of observance is based upon the Day of Mourning in 1938, which was named for the mourning of the loss of both lives and the culture that followed colonization. While Australia Day was widely celebrated, many were reminded only of that which was lost and began using the day as a day or remembrance. In 1975 it became a week-long event and is now the week-long celebration of the culture, the history, and the achievements that relate to the Aboriginal and Islander people. As it became the mainstream celebration, it continued to grow and has now become not only a community event but is also marked by government groups, schools, and many workplaces. The committee was formed to plan events, create educational materials, and increase awareness and understanding. Many events are scheduled throughout schools, on television, within communities, and more. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend various events and to observe the traditional elements that are being shared. Events will include Indigenous Australian music, art competitions, reading dream time stories, watching programming including Indigenous actors and writers, reading books, and more. Communities may have events held on the public lands and parks that have people singing or dancing in traditional ways to observe this week. Gatherings are one way to ensure that everyone has access to the information and is able to learn more about the culture of the area. Schools can access an additional curriculum that has been created to encourage the teaching of the heritage of the area, and there are additional programs that can be taken by the educators to expand their knowledge and learn new ways to present the information. Large cities will often hold large celebrations, including the awards ceremony that acknowledge those who have done the most for their community. This includes both elders and students, as well as those who are involved in local sports and educators. As the week is intended to bring attention to the equality of everyone and to support human rights for all, those who are awarded lifetime achievements are those who have done the most for their community and who are vocal in supporting issues that are important to them. The committee is in charge of grants for communities that require financial funding and grants to support local celebrations of the week, and they also run a poster contest to bring attention to the issues as well as the celebration. This week is celebrated during the first week of July every year, and the focus city that holds the award ceremony is different every year.