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NAIDOC Week 2015

 7 July 2015

We all Stand on Sacred Ground: Learn, Respect and Celebrate

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NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. Its origins can be traced to the emergence of Aboriginal groups in the 1920′s which sought to increase awareness in the wider community of the status and treatment of Indigenous Australians.  NAIDOC Week is held in the first full week of July. It is a time to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements and is an opportunity to recognise the contributions that Indigenous Australians make to our country and our society.

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Solid Rock

Click image to go to clip with art work by Queensland artist, Peter Hudson, and school children from Mutijulu, Kaltukatjara and Impanpa communities

This year the theme highlights Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ strong spiritual and cultural connection to land and sea. The theme is an opportunity to pay respects to country; honour those who work tirelessly on preserving land, sea and culture and to share the stories of many sites of significance or sacred places with the nation.

As the oldest continuing culture on the planet, the living culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is intrinsically linked with these sacred places. Sacred places can be geographic feature like a river or lake, a beach, bays, inlets, hills or a mountain ranges or ceremonial grounds, galleries of rock art or engravings or places used for gathering for cultural practices.

Long before European arrival, these places had traditional names – names that now reflect the timeless relationship between the people and the land. Often sacred places are connected with Dreaming stories or tell of the meaning of an area.

This year’s theme was also chosen specifically to highlight and celebrate the  anniversary of the ‘Handback’ of Uluru, one of these sacred sites, to its traditional owners on 26 October 30 years ago.

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