This year's National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) will commence July 2021.
Townsville NAIDOC Week provides an opportunity for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians to join together and recognise the valuable and continuing contribution that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians have made to this country.
NAIDOC Week is a celebration of significant reconciliation and closing the gap process between Indigenous and Non Indigenous people by promoting understanding, acceptance and harmony - regardless of cultural background. This also continues to strengthen new and existing partnerships. It is through these partnerships that we can lead and raise broader community awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultures.
The NAIDOC 2021 theme – Heal Country! – calls for all of us to continue to seek greater protections for our lands, our waters, our sacred sites and our cultural heritage from exploitation, desecration, and destruction.
Country that is more than a place and inherent to our identity.
Country that we speak about like a person, sustaining our lives in every aspect - spiritually, physically, emotionally, socially, and culturally.
NAIDOC 2021 invites the nation to embrace First Nations’ cultural knowledge and understanding of Country as part of Australia's national heritage and equally respect the culture and values of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders as they do the cultures and values of all Australians.
For generations we have been calling for stronger measures to recognise, protect, and maintain all aspects of our culture and heritage.
We are still waiting for those robust protections.
This year’s theme also seeks substantive institutional, structural, and collaborative reform – something generations of our Elders and communities have been advocating, marching and fighting for.
Healing Country means finally resolving many of the outstanding injustices which impact on 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.
Heal Country, heal our nation.