Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

The Importance of Australia’s NAIDOC Week

Paul Brown
03.07.2022 Published: 03.07.22, Modified: 03.07.2022 06:07:00

The first week of July each year is NAIDOC Week, held across Australia to 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 meaning and history

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 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

On Australia Day, 1938, protestors marched through the streets of Sydney, followed by a congress in one of the first major civil rights gatherings in the world, which became known as the Day of Mourning.

From 1940 until 1955, the Day of Mourning was held annually on the Sunday before Australia Day and was known as Aborigines Day. In 1955 Aborigines Day was moved to the first Sunday in July after it was decided the day should become not simply a protest day but also a celebration of Aboriginal culture.

In 1956, major Aboriginal organisations, state and federal governments, and a number of church groups all supported the formation of the National Aborigines Day Observance Committee (NADOC).

In 1974, the NADOC committee was composed entirely of Aboriginal members for the first time. The following year, it was decided that the event should cover a week, from the first to second Sunday in July.

NADOC was expanded to recognise Torres Strait Islander people and culture. The committee then became known as the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC). This new name has become the title for the whole week, not just the day. Each year, a theme is chosen to reflect the important issues and events for NAIDOC Week.

2022 Theme – Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!

Australia’s First Nations peoples have a proud history of getting up, standing up, and showing up.

Whether it’s seeking proper environmental, cultural and heritage protections, Constitutional change, a comprehensive process of truth-telling, working towards treaties, or calling out racism – it’s about doing it together.

It’s also a time to celebrate the many who have driven and led change in our communities over generations – they have been the heroes and champions of change, of equal rights and even basic human rights.

NAIDOC Week invites everyone to Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! to amplify our voices and narrow the gap between aspiration and reality, good intent and outcome.

National NAIDOC Week Awards Ceremony

The premiere event among the NAIDOC Week activities is the National NAIDOC Week Awards Ceremony which recognises the outstanding contributions that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make to improve the lives of people in their communities and beyond, from Elder of the Year to the Caring for Country and Culture Award.

Every year, a different focus city is chosen to host the Awards Ceremony and it has been announced that, in 2022, it will be held on Saturday, 2 July in Narrm (Melbourne), Victoria.

How it’s being celebrated – how you can get involved

There are events happening all over the country celebrating NAIDOC Week 2022. Every state has a calendar packed with a huge variety which you can check out here.

Here’s just a sample:

Victoria – Our Survival Day Tree Planting
Main Ridge, Mornington Peninsula – Thursday, June 9, 2022 – 09:45am to 11:30amOffset the carbon footprint of Our Survival Day (January 26 2022) – byo hat and gloves. Website

Western Australia – Virtual Reality Altspace NAIDOC Week Marble Bar
Marble Bar Virtual world, Marble Bar, Monday – June 27, 2022 – 10:00am to 12:00noonShowcasing Indigenous Culture and the achievements of the local community. Website

ACT – MEGAfauna: myths & legends!
Australian National Botanic Gardens – free school holiday experience
Step back in time on this family adventure trail to meet the enormous creatures that inspire myths and legends, art and culture. Website

Northern Territories – 2022 Deadly Cup Carnival
TRL Stadium, Darwin – Sunday 3rd JulyThe NT’s biggest NAIDOC event showcases the Rugby League talent from across the state. Website

South Australia – Warndu Mai (Good Food)
Ngutungka West Lakes, West Lakes, Woodville – Friday, July 8, 2022 – 1:30pm to 2:30pmAuthors Rebecca Sullivan and Damien Coulthard take you through a guided tasting of some of their favourite ingredients to cook with and grow at home. Website

Queensland – Capricorn Coast NAIDOC Walk and Community Event
Yeppoon – Monday, July 4, 2022 – 10:00am to 1:00pm
Everyone is welcome to join the walk to the Yeppoon Foreshore where there will be Welcome to Country, dancing, food, music and information. Website

New South Wales – Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Movie Night – BRAN NUE DAE
Bankstown Art Centre – Thursday, June 9, 2022 – 6:00pm to 9:00pmThe revered 2009 Australian musical comedy-drama film telling the coming of age story of an Aboriginal Australian teenager on a road trip in the late 1960s. Website

At FDM, diversity and inclusion run in our DNA

We are committed to promoting a culture of diversity and inclusion in our company. We’re continually working towards closing the gaps in ethnic, social, gender and special abilities representation. Our teams comprise people from nearly 100 different nationalities, speaking almost 50 different languages across 17 countries.

We celebrate the things that make us different and want to harness the power of diverse cultures and ideas coming together. From celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year to commemorating Australian Harmony Day, we embrace the merging of different traditions and welcome these valuable cultural exchanges.