Celebrate NAIDOC week

| July 1, 2013

It’s NAIDOC week from 7 to 14 July. NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. It is a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and an opportunity to recognise the contributions of Indigenous Australians in various fields.

The theme for NAIDOC Week 2013 is ‘We value the vision: Yirrkala Bark Petitions 1963’. This celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Yolngu people of Yirrkala in northeast Arnhem Land sending two bark petitions – framed by traditional ochre paintings of clan designs – to the Australian House of Representatives.

The petitions protested against the Commonwealth’s granting of mining rights on land excised from Arnhem Land reserve and sought the recognition by the Australian Parliament of the Yolngu’s traditional rights and ownership of their lands.

These petitions were the first traditional documents recognised by the Commonwealth Parliament and helped to shape the nation’s acknowledgment of Aboriginal people and their land rights. This set into motion a long process of legislative and constitutional reforms for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Activities take place across the nation during NAIDOC Week. All Australians are encouraged to participate.


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