NAIDOC Week is held to celebrate the diversity, culture, knowledge systems and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. It is a time to celebrate the oldest living and continuous culture in the world. This year’s theme, Always Was Always Will Be, recognises that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years.
The week is also a time to pause and reflect upon what NAIDOC and its theme mean to us, both as individuals and collectively as a country.
We asked our staff at IPS to share their reflections on what NAIDOC Week means to them:
"NAIDOC Week means recognition, appreciation and celebration of my beautiful culture and my Aboriginality. \NAIDOC Week provides an opportunity to recognise our Aboriginal and Indigenous cultures within Australia, and creates greater opportunities for learning and understanding. This is a time which allows both us as Aboriginal people and the wider community across Australia to appreciate our rich and diverse culture. It offers a platform for us to connect with our people, to be proud and united as one." Jada Morris, Projects Assistant
"NAIDOC means celebrating my culture, and coming together to look at the past and present. It means celebrating our ancestors, keeping our culture strong for the next generation, and acknowledging our spiritual connection with the land. To me, the week is about sharing our stories and acknowledging our diversity and talent. It serves as a reminder to never be ashamed of our colour or culture, and empowers us to share what we know and who we are with others." Kandice Hart, HR Assistant
“NAIDOC serves as a reminder to us as a country to take time to reflect, acknowledge, appreciate, and celebrate our First Nations People. Ours is a culture that has withstood many adversities over 65,000 years, and predates the Egyptian pyramids. Our culture is alive, resilient, empowered and thriving. The theme and celebrations of NAIDOC Week should not only occur for one week a year, but serve as a reminder to us as a country that every day is integral achieving equity, social justice, unity and self-determination in Australia.” Jahna Cedar, Director Evaluation & Indigenous Affairs/Engagement
"To me, NAIDOC Week is a chance to celebrate and reflect with the wonderful Indigenous people in our community that I have been fortunate to meet. I have learnt so much about struggle, storytelling, love of family, patience, connection and the importance of caring for our country." Jan Ferraz, Project Operations/HR Consultant
“This week’s session with Thomas Mayor and the event at BREC including the screening of ‘The Final Quarter’ have prompted me to consider NAIDOC as an opportunity to bring knowledge to life. As a person lucky enough to have had an excellent formal education, I know quite a bit of Australian history. But when this knowledge is presented with clarity infused with the passion of lived experience, as with Thomas’s presentation, or when information about racism in Australia is illustrated by Adam Goodes’ dignity in the face of injustice, I find myself moved. It’s my belief that being moved is central to moving attitudes." Vahri McKenzie, Consultant "NAIDOC Week is a time to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of the first peoples of Australia. It is an opportunity to educate and enlighten people who have very little to no knowledge of our culture. The NAIDOC Week celebrations encourage everyone to be a part of them. As we seek reconciliation, it is extremely important that all of Australia tries to understand our culture. The 2020 theme ""Always Was, Always Will Be" encourages me to look inwards. Who am I? How was I raised? Where did I come from? What have I been through? Where am I now? Where am I going? I was brought up to be proud of who I am. I always was and always will be a proud Aboriginal woman." Melinda Ely, Bookkeeper
IPS delivers innovative and focused consulting services that inspire people and provide purpose for our clients. We passionately embrace opportunities to create meaningful pathways for Indigenous communities and businesses.