We couldn’t love the theme for this year’s NAIDOC Week more!
It’s a powerful focus for a vital week in our calendars, and we’re already feeling geared up to Get Up, Stand Up and Show Up!
As you probably already know, NAIDOC Week is held during the first week of July. This year it runs from the 3rd to the 10th and is a fantastic opportunity to keep celebrating Aboriginal and Indigenous communities and Australians from all walks of life.
Let’s Recap: What is NAIDOC Week?
Hopefully, you’ve got lots happening in your school, and you feel clued up about what NAIDOC Week is and why we celebrate it – but just in case, here’s a brief overview.
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 broader community of the status and treatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
Celebrations during NAIDOC Week are encouraged by the community and organised by a broad range of community groups, government agencies, local councils, schools and workplaces to acknowledge Australia’s custodians, Country and educate about Australia’s rich cultural history.
This Year’s Theme: Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!
Reconciliation movements in Australia have a proud and strong history of Getting Up, Standing Up, and Showing Up! There have been some significant and positive improvements over the years – but there’s still more to be done before we can all experience the fair, equal and inclusive communities we should all get to be a part of.
We ALL have a part to play, and we must ALL continue to show up; in any way we can.
As the NAIDOC organisers advise on their website:
“We all must continue to Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! for systemic change and keep rallying around our mob, our Elders, and our communities. Whether seeking proper environmental, cultural and heritage protections, Constitutional change, a comprehensive process of truth-telling, working towards treaties, or calling out racism—we must do it together.”
There are many ways to Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! this NAIDOC Week and all year round.
Let’s Be Real For a Moment
Learning about our cultural histories and colonisation in Australia is not always easy.
We know that some schools do their best, but there is a significant gap between what gets taught and how much many young people feel they understand the history of Aboriginal and Indigenous peoples across Australia.
We know it can feel uncomfortable. We know it’s easy to avoid this history altogether.
But that’s not what Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! is about.
How to Show Up!
If you feel like your knowledge isn’t where it should be, and you’re wondering how you can embrace this year’s theme, we think a great start is by focusing on how you show up.
‘Showing up’ can be interpreted in lots of different ways. We think an important one is to show up to any discomfort you might feel about learning more, challenging your own (maybe others) biases and stereotypes, and finding ways to stretch and challenge your perspective positively.
Here are our essential tips for embracing ‘showing up’:
1. Engage with different perspectives.
It’s really easy to stick to narratives, stories and perspectives that align with our existing viewpoints, but if you really want to challenge and grow you need to address this.
Engaging with different perspectives can be as easy as watching movies or documentaries that highlight Aboriginal and Indigenous issues (tip: if you have an Amazon Prime account there’s an entire section dedicated to this!). It could mean attending art shows, museums, workshops or talks focused on Aboriginal culture.
Or you could read books written by Aboriginal and Indigenous authors about their experiences. Some of our favourite reads include Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia, The Boy From the Mish, and Black Cockatoo.
2. Shake up the media in your feed.
When was the last time you did a bit of a social media audit? Who are you following and what type of accounts are dominating your feeds?
It might seem small but actively seeking out and inviting different types of media into your life in this way is a great way to gradually build up your education and knowledge about Aboriginal and Indigenous Issues.
3. Start a conversation.
If you think your school could be doing more to raise the bar when it comes to promoting and educating about Aboriginal rights – step up and do something about it!
Start a conversation in any way you can – whether it’s a book club, a film club, an art history club or even a debate group – use your collective voices to start an important conversation. Show up for each other and your own education about the vital history of the place we get to call home.
And keep that conversation going with others.
NAIDOC Week 2022: How Will You Show Up?
These are just a few of our ideas but we know many of you will have ideas and stand-up plans of your own in the week ahead!
We’d love to see what you’re up to – in and out of school – for NAIDOC Week! If you use one of our ideas above, don’t forget to tag us on Instagram so we can keep sharing and supporting each other.