National NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia in the first week of July each year (Sunday to Sunday), to celebrate and recognise the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for all Australians to learn about First Nations cultures and histories and participate in celebrations of the oldest, continuous living cultures on earth.
NAIDOC plays a crucial role in promoting cultural understanding reconciliation, and unity among all Australians. The theme for NAIDOC Week 2023, For Our Elders, celebrates our Elders across every generation, our Elders, who have played and continue to play, an important role and hold a prominent place in our communities and families. Our Elders are cultural knowledge holders, trailblazers, nurturers, advocates, teachers, survivors, leaders, hard workers, and our loved ones. They have guided our generations and have paved the way for us to take the paths we can take today. They have provided us with 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 have 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.”
Through various events and activities, NAIDOC Week encourages cross-cultural understanding, appreciation, and respect. It is a time to reflect on the contributions of Indigenous communities to the fabric of Australian society and to work towards reconciliation and justice. By participating in NAIDOC Week, we acknowledge the past, celebrate the present, and build a more inclusive and united future.