On Sunday 9 July, NAIDOC Week 2018 launches seven days of festivities about the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Offering a wonderful opportunity for people around Australia to learn more about and show support for our unique communities, this year the theme of ‘Because of Her, We Can!’ celebrates the vital and active role Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have played in local, state and national communities.
According to NAIDOC: ‘For at least 65,000 years, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have carried our dreaming stories, songlines, languages and knowledge that have kept our culture strong and enriched us as the oldest continuing culture on the planet.
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 our rights and calling for national reform and justice.
Our 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 our families, maintaining our homes and breaking down cultural and institutionalised barriers and gender stereotypes.
Our women did so because they demanded a better life, greater opportunities and – in many cases equal rights – for our children, our families and our people.’
With events around Australia including gallery exhibits, markets, film viewings, educational classes, marches and more, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. For more information on the 2018 program and events around Australia, visit NAIDOC to plan your week.
Images: 2018 National NAIDOC logo