Chandler Macleod Celebrates NAIDOC Week 2017
National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) is celebrated every year around Australia for the first week of July. The week is full of laughter and joy but most of all it is the chance for the Australian people to celebrate in the festivities of history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
This event is not only celebrated in the Indigenous community but it is also celebrated throughout government agencies, schools, local councils and throughout many workplaces. Every year NAIDOC have a theme and this year’s theme is ‘Our Languages Matter’.
This year’s theme aims to celebrate and emphasise the unique role that Indigenous Languages play in cultural identity, linking Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to their land and water through history, spirituality and rites through story and song that is very much a strong part of our Oral History.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are a very diverse culture within their own culture from many different language groups across our country. 250 distinct Indigenous language groups covered the continent at first (significant) European contact in the late eighteenth century. Most of these languages would have had several dialects, what this meant is that the total number of named language groups and dialects would have been in the hundreds. Today only around 120 of those languages are still spoken and many are at risk of being lost.
So join us in the week’s celebrations and if you want to know what you can do? You can participate in the week’s festivities by inviting a traditional owner into your workplace to do a ‘Welcome to Country’ and for them to explain why their languages matter, host a luncheon or morning tea with traditional foods, organise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performances in your workplace. These are just a few ideas or you can visit the official website where there are many more ideas for participating in the community, school and workplace.
- By Kyra Bonney
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