NAIDOC Week 2021

By Tarlee Leondaris

Posted in News

NAIDOC Week occurs annually and is a celebration of the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC Week invites all Australians to celebrate by encouraging participation in NAIDOC Week events or simply taking opportunities to learn more about First Peoples and cultures. Initially NAIDOC was an acronym for the ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee.' The responsibilities of the Committee have changed over time and these days the acronym is utilised for this special week of recognition and celebration. Learn more about the history of NAIDOC Week here.

Each year NAIDOC Week has theme that reflects issues of relevance to First Peoples. The 2021 theme is Heal Country. The theme reflects that Country is part of the identity of the First Peoples, describing Country as sustaining the lives of First Peoples in every aspect including spiritually, physical, emotionally, socially and culturally. The theme acknowledges First Peoples persistence for greater protection of lands, water and sacred sites from destruction. At the same time, emphasising that Country is more than physical places. The Heal Country theme encourages us all to look for ways to heal through addressing historical wrongs and being committed to improving not only equality but also equity opportunities for First Peoples.

In this coming Sunday’s lectionary reading, Psalm 24 we are reminded that, 'the Earth is the Lord’s,' and all peoples are caretakers of it. We are urged to be devoted to deeply caring for God’s creations. As Christians of the Uniting Church in Australia, we adhere to our Revised Preamble to the Constitution, including acknowledgement that 'First Peoples had already encountered the Creator God before the arrival of colonisers; the Spirit was already in the land revealing God to people through law, custom and ceremony. The same love and grace that was finally and fully revealed in Jesus Christ sustained the First Peoples and gave them particular insights into God’s ways.' This is a reminder to us this NAIDOC Week that our Lord is the God of First Peoples and Second Peoples. Through Covenanting, God calls us all to be good stewards of this land and to seek ways to Heal Country together.

There are a wide range of NAIDOC Week events and resources available. Please refer to the following links: 

Events

Podcast

Online NAIDOC Week Resources:

Common Grace

Eternity News

Uluru Statement from the Heart Event: Statement from the Heart held at Bridgewater Uniting Church


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