Four ways to celebrate NAIDOC Week

Take time to embrace and deepen your understanding of Australia’s Aboriginal history during NAIDOC Week 2020, which runs from 8 to 15 November.

NAIDOC Week encourages people to celebrate Aboriginal culture and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded. This year’s theme is: Always Was, Always Will Be.

Among many events planned for NAIDOC Week, actor and producer Aaron Pedersen, known for his roles in TV series including Mystery Road and Jack Irish, hosted a virtual yarn on the theme.

‘Aboriginality is the oldest continuous living culture in the world. Aboriginal people wake up with culture in our hearts, and what a great gift it is for all Australians to come from a nation with this ancient history,’ Aaron said.

‘The phrase “always was, always will be Aboriginal land” is a mantra that Aboriginal people have chanted as a collective and as individuals across the country for decades.

‘Until Australia as a community can acknowledge and understand this simple message of sovereignty belonging, we can never consider ourselves mature enough to move forward.’

For NAIDOC Week 2020, people have found creative ways to connect as the challenges of COVID-19 continue.

‘Aboriginal people are social people – we have had such strong community connections for a long, long time – so not being able to be around our families and loved ones has been challenging,’ Aaron said.

‘We need that togetherness – it’s our medicine – but we have to be cautious as we are an at-risk group. Once we’re through this I know that we will be spending as much time as possible with each other, our Elders and young people.’

Here are four ways to celebrate NAIDOC Week remotely in 2020.

1. Discussion

Join actor Aaron Pedersen and friends for this virtual NAIDOC yarn. Hear panel members Ngarra Murray, Jimi Peters, Janine Coombs and Lisa Rose Thorpe talk about the importance of NAIDOC Week and how, together, we might shape our shared future.

2. Music

Tune in to the City of Melbourne’s latest Looking Out Looking In playlist on Spotify, which is dedicated to NAIDOC Week 2020 theme ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’ and curated by Kee’ahn, Soju Gang and DJ PGZ (Paul Gorrie).

3. Public art

Discover three new art installations in Carlton’s Warrior Woman Lane. The lane was named in tribute to passionate advocate for Aboriginal rights and representation, broadcaster, photographer and poet Lisa Bellear, and the artworks tell her story.

4. Performance

Immerse yourself in performance art from an incredible line-up of First Nations artists curated by YIRRAMBOI for the opening night of Melbourne Fringe. The online Club Fringe event will include a smoking ceremony, electro-tribal pop, rap and energetic dance floor beats.

To find out more, visit Aboriginal Melbourne.