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NAIDOC Week 2020

November 09, 2020

This year’s NAIDOC Week theme is “Always Was, Always Will Be” and will be marked from 8 to 15 November after being postponed from its customary July slot in the interests of safety during COVID 19.

The theme recognises that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years. “Our knowledge of country has allowed us to adapt and endure,” Acting Aboriginal Education Coordinator Russell Honnery said.

“This year, we continue to adapt and endure, so please join in community celebrations and look at online events in your community, or the community where your students are from.”

As we celebrate in 2020, it’s worth noting that it was more than 20 years ago when Federation members agitated for the union to develop a “Welcome to Country/Acknowledgement of Country” guide to show respect and understanding, and to acknowledge and promote Aboriginal education.

With NAIDOC Week upon us, events and celebrations should respectfully commence with a “Welcome to Country”, where this is not possible then an “Acknowledgement of Country” is appropriate. Federation has a simple online resource to guide teachers through the protocols.

Our First Nations people have a unique relationship to the land, with a responsibility to look after the environmental and spiritual wellbeing of Country. Traditionally, when Aboriginal people travelled, they would not enter another’s Country until they were welcomed by the traditional owners of that land.

As such, a Welcome to Country should only be delivered by the Aboriginal people in their homelands and community. Acknowledgement of Country is just that and can be performed by Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people, both children and adults to recognise the traditional custodians.

Incorporating acknowledgements and traditional ceremonies into official events and daily proceedings provides an opportunity for the school community to recognise and pay respect to Aboriginal culture and heritage and promote mutual respect and understanding.

Click here for information on NAIDOC Week events in your area as well as teaching resources and posters.

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Authorised by John Dixon, General Secretary, NSW Teachers Federation, 23-33 Mary St. Surry Hills NSW 2010

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© New South Wales Teachers Federation. All Rights Reserved.

Authorised by John Dixon, General Secretary, NSW Teachers Federation, 23-33 Mary St. Surry Hills NSW 2010

Privacy Policy