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Know about NAIDOC

Know about NAIDOC

The National Aborigines Day Observance Committee (NADOC) week was celebrated from July 5 to 12, across Australia. Each July, the event celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life who participate in a range of activities in support of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
The impact of Europeans was profoundly disruptive to Aboriginal life and, though the extent of violence is debated, many events illustrate violence and resistance as Aborigines sought to protect their lands from invasion and as settlers and pastoralists attempted to establish their presence. Before the 1920s, Aboriginal rights groups boycotted Australia Day (26 January) in protest against the status and treatment of Indigenous Australians.
On Australia Day in 1938, protestors marched through the streets of Sydney, and following a congress attended by over a thousand people, the event was known as the Day of Mourning. This was celebrated annually from 1940 until 1955, on the Sunday before Australia Day, and became known as Aborigines Day. In 1955, this was shifted to the first Sunday in July to celebrate Aboriginal culture, and not simply be a day of protest. The National Aborigines Day Observance Committee (NADOC) was formed, and the second Sunday in July became a day of remembrance for Aboriginal people and their heritage. Later, NADOC was expanded to recognise the Torres Strait Islander people and culture, becoming National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC), as it is currently known. The week long event includes national activities and the National NAIDOC Awards Ceremony.
The theme of NAIDOC week 2015 was: We all Stand on Sacred Ground: Learn, Respect and Celebrate. According to the website, “This year the theme highlights Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ strong spiritual and cultural connection to land and sea. The theme is an opportunity to pay respects to country; honour those who work tirelessly on preserving land, sea and culture and to share the stories of many sites of significance or sacred places with the nation.”
While all states participate through their own programs organised by communities, government agencies, local councils, schools and workplaces, Adelaide played host city to the National NAIDOC Poster Competition and the NAIDOC Awards, recipients of which were selected by the National NAIDOC Committee.
NAIDOC Person of the Year 2015 is Rosalie Kunoth-Monks, who has had a major impact on the nation’s cultural, political and social life for more than half a century. Rosalie was cast in the lead role in the world-renowned Australian classic film ‘Jedda’ in 1953, when she was just 16. Rosalie lives in Alice Springs and is involved in social work and politics. Other awards in diverse fields were presented to deserving members of the community, while Elaine Chambers won the 2015 National NAIDOC poster competition.
In 2016, NAIDOC Week will be held from July 3 to 10.

The Indian Telegraph Sydney Australia

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