NAIDOC Week

1 to 8 July 2012

NAIDOC Week is an Australia-wide, weeklong observance held each year from the first to the second Sunday in July. This event provides us with an opportunity to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. This committee was once responsible for organising national activities during NAIDOC Week and its acronym has since become the name of the week itself. NAIDOC Week showcases Indigenous people’s achievements and their contributions to the nation. It is a time to reflect on these achievements and to renew commitments to reconciliation by exploring ways to help create a better future for all Indigenous Australians.

Each year, a theme is selected around which to plan and focus activities. This year’s theme was selected by the National NAIDOC Committee to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra and acknowledge the key contributors to its long history. Spirit of the Tent Embassy: 40 years on recognises the establishment of the tent embassy which has become a symbol of unity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It also promotes ongoing education and equality.

NAIDOC Week is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and to support your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

In Perth, the week commences with an official NAIDOC Perth Opening Ceremony which will take place at Wellington Square in East Perth between 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm. The Ceremony will commence with a Welcome to Country by Whadjuck Noongar Elders, followed by entertainment from a variety of local and visiting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. The event will also include community stalls, activities for children, and an Elders Marquee.

This will be followed by a week of exhibitions, workshops, concerts, and other special events and community activities held around the metropolitan area. A full program of events can be found on the NAIDOC Perth website at www.naidocperth.org.

If you’d like to find out more about Perth Zoo’s aims for reconciliation, read our Reconciliation Action Plan (pdf). You might also like to visit Perth Zoo during this week to see our native Australian animals and consider the unique environment in which they live.

Snapshots by Narelle Henry

Snapshots by Narelle Henry

From the artist: This artwork is a series of simple personal experiences seen as snapshots throughout the years. In my life, I have endeavoured to learn and draw strength from thousands of years of culture and heritage. In the teachings of my grandparents, to the simple surrounds of the desert and waiting for our feed to cook, the images have been photographed in my mind…and as I burn them into wood, my hope is they will forever be seared in my memory.

I don’t know as much I would like about the heartbeat, or the pulse, that is my Aboriginality…but it is a powerful movement all the same. And, it emerges and overwhelms the surface of who I am, where I have come from and where I want to be. It presents itself in dreams, in people and inevitably…it is represented, honoured and remembered through art.

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