Abt JTA Celebrates NAIDOC Week

August 19, 2015 Australian Programs

NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life. The week is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and to support local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee and 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.

This year’s theme was: “We All Stand on Sacred Ground: Learn, Respect and Celebrate”.

Abt JTA staff participated in events across Brisbane including:

  • Monday 6 July, Veitania Lepani, Karen Harmon and Luana Sanders attended the NAIDOC opening ceremony at the City Hall and were delighted to engage with some of the local community. There was an array of speakers and were mesmerized by entertainer Chris Tamwoy, a young Torres Strait Islander who displayed his own style of finger-picking guitar. Chris went on to win the National NAIDOC Youth of the Year Award at the National Awards ceremony.
  • Tuesday 7 July, Karen Harmon, Libby Holden and Luana Sanders attended a public forum at the QIMR. The speakers included Researcher Linda Medlin who addressed the forum on respiratory illness, the second leading cause of hospitalisation for Indigenous Australians behind dialysis care; Justin Chapman who explained why increasing physical activity and reducing sedentary behaviour is important for physical and emotional well-being; and Epidemiologist Daniel Williamson, the manager of Queensland Health’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Unit.
  • Friday 10 July 2015 Luana Sanders attended the NAIDOC Family Fun Day at Musgrave Park. The day had an extremely large attendance with approximately 40,000 participating in the day’s activities.  There was an array of displays from various organisations providing free advice, general information and promotional items.