The National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) is a committee made up of both Indigenous and Islander groups and NAIDOC week takes its name from this committee. This year, NAIDOC Week is held 8-15 July and celebrates the 65,000 years of unbroken rich cultural history that makes Australia unique.
This week has its origins before the 1920s when Aboriginal rights groups boycotted Australia Day in protest against the status and treatment of Indigenous Australians, called the Day of Mourning. In 1955 this day was shifted to the first Sunday in July and it became not only a protest day, but also a celebration of aboriginal culture. In 1974 the NAIDOC committee comprising entirely of indigenous members, decided the event should cover a week.
This year’s celebrations are themed “because of her, we can” and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, their achievements, passion and the strength they have and give to past, present and future generations. Such women include Evonne Goolagong Cawley who works with young indigenous tennis players, Linda Burney a member of parliament and also pioneering women such as Truganini and Mum Shirl.
This year, as in previous years, Hands on Health Australia will have a group of chiropractic students treating people at NAIDOC Week celebrations which is held at the Redfern Indigenous Centre of Excellence. If you would like to help with supervision of students, please contact Franca Smarrelli on 03 94176787, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the HoHA website at hoha.org.au.
Joan Van Rotterdam
Chair Rural & Indigenous Health Group