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NAIDOC Week's Theme Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! Explained

Charisa Bossinakis

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NAIDOC Week's Theme Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! Explained

The National Aboriginal and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) week has kicked off, with celebrations of Indigenous culture and Blak excellence happening from July 3-10.

This significant week always rolls around on the first and second Sunday of July and offers an opportunity to learn more about First Nations culture, one of the oldest cultures ever to exist.

Each year, NAIDOC week has a unique theme delving into an important issue regarding the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, and this year’s theme is ‘Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!’

But what does that mean exactly?

The theme encourages Australians to fight for Indigenous rights rather than being passive bystanders.

It’s no longer enough just to be an ‘ally’ or merely participate in performative activism.

It’s time to support Blak businesses, expand our knowledge of Indigenous affairs, listen to the stories from the community and call out racism in the hopes of institutional change.

NAIDOC's website states: “We need to move beyond just acknowledgement, good intentions, empty words and promises, and hollow commitments.

"Enough is enough.

“The relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non‑Indigenous Australians needs to be based on justice, equity, and the proper recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ rights.”

'Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!' is also centred around learning about significant historical figures who rallied for change and championed human rights. 

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

This year marks a few huge cultural milestones as it’s the 50th anniversary of the Tent Embassy.

That pivotal moment was launched by Aboriginal activists, who stood on the lawns opposite Parliament House in 1972 to protest the Federal government’s refusal to acknowledge Aboriginal land rights.

This year’s event also coincides with the 30th anniversary of the Mabo decision, the landmark ruling that overturned the notion of terra nullius, meaning ‘land belonging to no one’, which denied Aboriginal existence before British colonisation.

As well as cultural events being hosted, NAIDOC week will also award trailblazers for their contributions to the Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander community. 

So far, tennis icon Ash Barty, actor Uncle Jack Charles and AFL star Lance Franklin have all been recognised by the annual award ceremony.

Be sure to head to their website to check out what events and celebrations are happening in your town!

Featured Image Credit: Ryhia.Dank / NAIDOC week / Instagram. Joe Kuis / Alamy News.

Topics: News, Politics, Australia, Racism

Charisa Bossinakis
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