The history of Australia is a long and rich one, and NAIDOC Week 2020 celebrates the longstanding heritage of our First Nations people – honouring them with the theme, ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’.
Marking the 65,000-plus years our indigenous population have lived in and cared for Australia, NAIDOC Week recognises the spiritual and cultural heritage the country had before white settlement, and the ongoing value of Aboriginal practices to our nation.
In the lead up, the National NAIDOC Committee said, “Regardless of when it is celebrated, NAIDOC Week is an event of national importance for all Australians”.
“NAIDOC Week [reminds] us of the ongoing aspirations of our communities as they continue the movement towards justice and equality. [It’s] an opportunity for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians to come together to celebrate not only Indigenous achievement but the history, rich culture, and survival of the oldest continuing living culture on the planet,” the National NAIDOC Committee states.
While a number of the usual NAIDOC Week festivities have been cancelled this year, the stories of First Nations people will still be showcased with a recent Netflix partnership highlighting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content across the platform, including Wrong Kind of Black and Our Law.
- A full list of exhibitions and events can also be found on the NAIDOC website.
Coinciding with NAIDOC Week, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has also reignited a push to change Australia’s national anthem.
The ABC reported, “Gladys Berejiklian wants the national anthem changed to acknowledge Indigenous Australians, saying such a move would be a sign of “respect and dignity”.
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“I think it’s about time we recognise the tens of thousands of years of the First Nations people of this continent,” Premier Berejiklian said.
She said the line “we are young and free” should be changed to “we are one and free” in order to recognise Australia’s 60,000 years of Indigenous history.
“I feel for Indigenous Australians who don’t feel the national anthem reflects them and their history.
“I think if we say ‘we’re one and free’ it acknowledges that we’re not really young as a continent, we’re tens of thousands of years old when it comes to human inhabitants.”