NAIDOC Week 2020

NAIDOC Week is usually celebrated during the first full week of July, from Sunday to Sunday. However, due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic across the country and in the interest of safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, the National NAIDOC Committee (NNC) has made the decision to reschedule 2020 NAIDOC Week. This year NAIDOC Week will be held from Sunday 8 to Sunday 15 November 2020.

NAIDOC Week image

The NAIDOC 2020 theme

The NAIDOC 2020 theme recognises that First Nations people have lived in and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years.

First Nations people are spiritually and culturally connected to this country. The strength of this connection to the land is illustrated in the NAIDOC Week 2020 winning poster design, Shape of Land, by Mr Tyrown Waigana.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were Australia’s first explorers, first navigators, first engineers, first farmers, first botanists, first scientists, first diplomats, first astronomers and first artists.

Australia has the world’s oldest oral traditions. The First Peoples engraved the world’s oldest maps, made the earliest ceremonial paintings and invented new and unique technologies. They altered landscapes, engineered and built large-scale structures that pre-date well-known archaeological sites such as the Pyramids and Stonehenge, by thousands of years.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s adaptation to and intimate knowledge of Country has enabled them to endure Ice Ages, catastrophic droughts and rising sea levels.

The NAIDOC 2020 them acknowledges that hundreds of Nations and cultures have covered this continent over its long and rich history. All managed the land and its resources; the biggest estate on earth, to sustainably provide for their future.

Through ingenious land management systems including the use of fire, irrigation and cultivation they transformed the harshest habitable continent into a land of bounty.

Coastal Nations witnessed and participated in at least 36 contacts by European explorers prior to 1770. These resulted in European charting of the northern, western and southern coastlines – of our lands and our waters.

NAIDOC Week 2020 acknowledges and celebrates that our nation’s story didn’t begin with European arrivals in 1770 or even in 1606.

The first footprints on this continent arrived long ago and were those belonging to First Nations peoples. For the First Nations people, this nation’s story begins at the dawn of time.

NAIDOC 2020 invites all Australians to embrace the true history of this country – a history which dates back thousands of generations.

It’s about seeing, hearing and learning the First Nations’ 65,000+ year history of this country - which is Australian history. We want all Australians to celebrate that we have the oldest continuing cultures on the planet and to recognise that our sovereignty over this land was never ceded.

Always Was, Always Will Be.

Download the National NAIDOC Logo and other social media resources.

History of NAIDOC

NAIDOC originally stood for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’. NAIDOC was responsible for organising national activities during NAIDOC Week and the acronym has since become synonymous with the week itself.

NAIDOC’s origins can be traced to the emergence of Aboriginal advocacy groups in the 1920′s which sought to increase awareness in the wider community of the status and treatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. To find out more about why NAIDOC is traditionally celebrated during the first week in July visit here

NAIDOC Week 2020 Poster Winner

NAIDOC poster artwork

Tyrown Waigana, a Perth based artist and designer, has been named as this year’s winner of the prestigious National NAIDOC Poster Competition.

His winning entry - Shape of Land - was judged by the National NAIDOC Committee to have best illustrated the 2020 NAIDOC theme: Always Was Always Will Be.

Mr Waigana, a proud Noongar and Saibai Islander, has previously been named as one of Western Australia’s best new and emerging Indigenous artists.

According to the 23-year-old, his winning entry depicts the Rainbow Serpent coming out of the Dreamtime to create this country and how we are strongly connected to it.

“The Rainbow Serpent is represented by the snake and it forms the shape of Australia, which symbolises how it created our lands. The colour from the Rainbow Serpent is reflected on to the figure to display our connection to the Rainbow Serpent, thus our connection to country. The overlapping colours on the outside is the Dreamtime.”

“The figure inside the shape of Australia is a representation of Indigenous Australians showing that this country - since the dawn of time - always was, and always will be Aboriginal land,” Mr Waigana added.