21 June 2021

Culture and country

In 2021 the theme for NAIDOC Week (4-11 July) is – Heal Country!

NAIDOC Week 2021 calls for all Australians to continue to seek greater protection from exploitation and destruction of land, water, sacred sites and cultural heritage.

The National NAIDOC Committee says healing our country means “finally resolving many of the outstanding injustices that impact the lives of our people”.

“It is about hearing and actioning the aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples which are the culmination of generations of consultation and discussions among our nations on a range of issues and grievances.

“After 250 years, our children and our future generations deserve better. We cannot afford to let pass the very real opportunity that now presents itself for reform based on a fundamental change in the relationship Australia has with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” the committee says.

When did NAIDOC Week begin?

NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee and its origins can be traced to the emergence of Aboriginal groups seeking to increase awareness of the status and treatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in the 1920s.

The committee became known by its current name in 1991 and the National NAIDOC Committee was first formed in 2008.

Each year, a NAIDOC Week theme is chosen to reflect issues and events that are important to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

What’s happening in NAIDOC Week?

Communities across the country celebrate NAIDOC Week in diverse ways. This includes cultural events, art exhibitions, movie screenings, seminars, webinars and festivals.

To find out more about these NAIDOC Week events and to discover what’s on in your local area click here

How can schools get involved?

NAIDOC Week events at schools can be big or small and involve students of all ages.
Here are some ideas:

  • Create an “hall of fame” to celebrate Indigenous role models
  • Run an art show or competition
  • Display NAIDOC Week posters around your school or in your classroom
  • Hold a flag raising ceremony
  • Ask a local Indigenous person to host a smoking ceremony
  • Host a community event celebrating Indigenous culture
  • Visit local Indigenous sites and study their history.

For more in-school ideas click here

For logos and banners to support your event click here

For colourful and historic posters to display around your school click here

What about classroom activities?

The National NAIDOC Committee has developed teaching ideas that support the Australian Curriculum from Prep to Year 12. Material is also provided for VET and university students undertaking Indigenous studies.

SBS Learn provides a range of teaching activities and ideas to help students reflect on this year’s Heal Country theme.

To discover teaching ideas and resources, click here