NAIDOC Week: Keep the Fire Burning

From 7 to 14 July, Australia celebrates NAIDOC Week. This is a time for all Australians to pause, reflect and learn about the history and culture of First Nations peoples, and explore ways we can continue to shape Australia into a reconciled nation.

Community
  • 1 May 2024

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respect to them and their Elders - both past and present. Macarthur Square is located on Dharawal Country.

Each year during the first week of July, national NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia. This year, NAIDOC Week runs from the 7th until the 14th of July. NAIDOC Week is a time for all Australians to learn about and celebrate the oldest continuing cultures on earth: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It’s an opportunity to connect with and give recognition to the histories, cultures, and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the important role they play in Australia’s story.

Exciting activities happen during NAIDOC Week, including the National NAIDOC Week Awards Ceremony, which celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander excellence, and the NAIDOC Week Poster Competition, featuring work from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists aged 13 years and up.

Each year, a theme is chosen by the National NAIDOC Committee to represent and recognise important issues relevant to the time. The theme for NAIDOC Week in 2024 is "Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud".

This year's theme celebrates the unyielding spirit of our communities and invites all to stand in solidarity, amplifying the voices that have long been silenced. The fire represents the enduring strength and vitality of Indigenous cultures, passed down through generations despite the challenges faced. It is a symbol of connection to the land, to each other, and to the rich tapestry of traditions that define Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. As we honour this flame, we kindle the sparks of pride and unity, igniting a renewed commitment to acknowledging, preserving, and sharing the cultural heritage that enriches our nation.

"Blak, Loud and Proud" encapsulates the unapologetic celebration of Indigenous identity, empowering us to stand tall in our heritage and assert our place in the modern world. This theme calls for a reclamation of narratives, an amplification of voices, and an unwavering commitment to justice and equality. It invites all Australians to listen, learn, and engage in meaningful dialogue, fostering a society where the wisdom and contributions of Indigenous peoples are fully valued and respected. Through our collective efforts, we can forge a future where the stories, traditions, and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are cherished and celebrated, enriching the fabric of the nation with the oldest living culture in the world.

This NAIDOC Week there are many ways you can connect with and give recognition to the histories, cultures, and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the important role they play in Australia’s story. This could mean attending a NAIDOC Week event near you as a show of support and unity. It can mean celebrating those who have already driven and led change over generations. And it can mean being a champion for institutional, structural, collaborative, and cooperative change in your workplace, university, school, and social environments.

Reconciliation is a journey for all Australians, and you are encouraged to show your support this NAIDOC Week and get to know your local Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities by attending activities and events near you. Check out what's happening in centre here.

For more information about national NAIDOC Week, the 2024 theme, and for additional ideas on how to celebrate the week, check out the NAIDOC website. Here you can also read about the inspiration behind this year’s National NAIDOC Week winning poster by Deborah (Deb) Belyea, titled ‘Urapun Muy’ meaning ‘One Fire”.

To see a map of the language, tribal or nation groups of First Nations Peoples, visit the AIATSIS Map of Indigenous Australia.

Macarthur Square collaborated with artist Ryhia Dank to create the artwork for Reconciliation Week 2024. 

Rhyia Dank is a Gudjani/Wakaja woman and Indigenous Australian artist who grew up in a remote community in the Northern Territory. Now based on Gubbi Gubbi Country, Ryhia tells stories through pattern and design. Ryhia runs her own successful fine art and design studio under the name Nardurna.

To read more of Ryhia's story please click here.

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Be inspired by Rhyia's art every day

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