NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 2018 dates: July 8-15. Hashtag: #NAIDOC2018.
The poster was painted by Bigambul woman, Cheryl Moggs, from Goondiwindi. The painting portrays the 2018 theme, Because of her, we can! showing the courage and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.
NAIDOC (the National Aboriginal Islander Day Observance Committee) Week is an Australian observance lasting from the first Sunday in July until the following Sunday.
Statement by National NAIDOC Co-Chairs Dr Anne Martin & Mr Ben Mitchell
NAIDOC Week 2018 will celebrate the invaluable contributions that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have made – and continue to make – to communities, families and nation.
Under the theme – Because of her, we can! – NAIDOC Week 2018 will be held nationally from Sunday, July 8 and continue through to Sunday, July 15.
As pillars of society, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have played – and continue to play – active and significant roles at the community, local, state and national levels.
As leaders, trailblazers, politicians, activists and social change advocates, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women fought and continue to fight, for justice, equal rights, rights to country, for law and justice, access to education, employment and to maintain and celebrate culture, language, music and art.
They continue to influence as doctors, lawyers, teachers, electricians, chefs, nurses, architects, rangers, emergency and defence personnel, writers, volunteers, chief executive officers, actors, singer songwriters, journalists, entrepreneurs, media personalities, board members, accountants, academics, sporting icons and Olympians, the list goes on.
Sadly, Indigenous women’s role in cultural, social and political survival has often been invisible, unsung or diminished.
For at least 65,000 years, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have carried dreaming stories, songlines, languages and knowledge that have kept the culture strong.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women were there at first contact.
They were there at the Torres Strait Pearlers strike in 1936, the Day of Mourning in 1938, the 1939 Cummeragunja Walk-Off, at the 1946 Pilbara pastoral workers’ strike, the 1965 Freedom Rides, the Wave Hill walk off in 1966, on the front line of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in 1972 and at the drafting of the Uluru Statement.
They have marched, protested and spoken at demonstrations and national gatherings for the proper recognition of rights and calling for national reform and justice.
Women were heavily involved in the campaign for the 1967 Referendum and also put up their hands to represent their people at the establishment of national advocacy and representative bodies from the National Aboriginal Congress (NAC) to ATSIC to Land Councils and onto the National Congress for Australia’s First Peoples.
They often did so while caring for families, maintaining homes and breaking down cultural and institutionalised barriers and gender stereotypes.
They were pioneering women like Barangaroo, Truganini, Gladys Elphick, Fannie Cochrane-Smith, Evelyn Scott, Pearl Gibbs, Oodgeroo Noonuccal, Celuia Mapo Salee, Thancopie, Justine Saunders, Gladys Nicholls, Flo Kennedy, Essie Coffey, Isabel Coe, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Eleanor Harding, Mum Shirl, Ellie Gaffney and Gladys Tybingoompa.
Today, they are trailblazers like Joyce Clague, Yalmay Yunupingu, Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Nova Peris, Carol Martin, Elizabeth Morgan, Barbara Shaw, Rose Richards, Vonda Malone, Margaret Valadian, Lowitja O’Donoghue, June Oscar, Pat O’Shane, Pat Anderson Jill Milroy, Banduk Marika, Linda Burney and Rosalie Kunoth-Monks – to name but a few.
Their achievements, their voice, their unwavering passion give us strength and have empowered past generations and paved the way for generations to come.
Because of her, we can!
- Is there an analog to NAIDOC Week in other countries?
- How has NAIDOC Week evolved?
- What are the dates for NAIDOC Week 2019?
- For those interested in Indigenous and Aboriginal languages, which are the accounts to follow on Twitter?
- Are there any recommended apps for Australia’s Aboriginal and Indigenous languages?
- For those interested in Indigenous and Aboriginal languages, which are the videos to watch online?