NAIDOC assembly 1 July

Today we gathered as a school community, at the footsteps of kunayi, to commemorate the First Peoples of our nation with our annual NAIDOC Week assembly.

Students have also been learning and discovering more about our First People’s culture, history and achievements in class.

What does NAIDOC stand for? NAIDOC stands for the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. NAIDOC Week is a time for all Australians to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements. It is a chance to recognise the contribution of Indigenous peoples and for all Australians to join in the events and celebrations taking place across the country.

NAIDOC Week has its origins in the 1920s with the emergence of Aboriginal groups which sought to raise wider awareness about the status and treatment of Indigenous Australia. A turning point occurred on Australia Day, 26 January 1938, during the celebrations for 150 years since the British landing on the continent.

Australia Day had been boycotted by Aboriginal groups in the past. In 1938 a group of Aboriginal people declared it ‘A Day of Mourning’. This new name was intended to recognise the consequences of the British arrival for Aboriginal people. A large group of Aboriginal protesters marched through the streets of Sydney and held a conference, attended by more than 1000 people. This created momentum and from 1940 to 1955, every Sunday before Australia Day was known as ‘Aborigines Day’.

Over the next decades, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal groups established the National Aborigines Day Observance Committee – NADOC – which, in 1974 became an all-Aboriginal committee. The date was also moved to July, so that it could become a time of celebration of culture, as well of protest, and eventually the day grew into a week. In 1991, NADOC became NAIDOC when Torres Strait Islander people became part of the movement.

At Dominic College we are very proud of the 46 students who identify as Indigenous, they are a living connection to the oldest continuing culture. A very special ‘Happy NAIDOC Week’ to all our Indigenous students and their families.

Mrs Gabi Ashlin - Indigenous Liaison