Discover Aboriginal Melbourne

Celebrate the spirit and stories of the Kulin Nation during NAIDOC Week in July.

With its origins in the first Aboriginal protests against Australia Day in the 1920s and 30s, NAIDOC Week is today a celebration of Aboriginal culture, resilience and achievements.

This year’s NAIDOC Week theme – Because of her, we can – celebrates the invaluable contributions Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have made, and continue to make, to our communities and to our nation.

Yorta Yorta Elder Aunty Pam Pedersen is the youngest daughter of Sir Douglas and Lady Gladys Nicholls and a member of the Victorian NAIDOC Committee.

Following in her parents’ footsteps, Aunty Pam is a passionate activist for the rights and welfare of Aboriginal people. Among her many achievements, she was recently inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women, just as her mother was 10 years before.

‘If you dream it, you can achieve it – that’s my motto.’

‘NAIDOC Week is very special to me because my parents were among the first people who started it – I have been involved for many, many years,’ Aunty Pam said.

‘I look up to so many Aboriginal Elders – my aunties and my mother, who was such a special lady. They have instilled in me my culture and given me the strength to get up and do what I’m doing now – to work for young Aboriginal people.

‘To young women I would say: don’t give up. It doesn’t matter what age you are, if you dream it, you can achieve it – that’s my motto.’

Councillor Nicolas Frances Gilley MBE, Deputy Chair of the Aboriginal City portfolio, said NAIDOC Week invites us to reflect on the narrative of the ancient land where we live, work and play.

‘As a Council, we aim to celebrate Aboriginal language and culture in all we do, from place-naming strategies to public art and city-shaping development,’ Cr Frances Gilley said.

‘The more opportunities Melburnians have to understand, respect and connect with Aboriginal culture, the better – whether it be through a bush tucker workshop, riverside storytelling, or interaction with our service providers.

‘I encourage everyone to get out and celebrate Aboriginal culture during NAIDOC Week and beyond.’

Victoria’s NAIDOC Week festivities begin on Monday 2 July with a flag-raising ceremony at Federation Square.


Over the coming months, we will complete a digital-mapping project of nearly 300 local places of Aboriginal cultural significance.

For more information, visit Aboriginal Melbourne.