NAIDOC Week celebrations are held annually across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life. The week is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and to support your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
The 2022 NAIDOC theme is "Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!" NAIDOC Week ran from Sunday 3 July to Sunday 10 July. The theme called for all of us to continue to stand up for systemic change; whether it’s 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.
The City of Rockingham has close connections with the local Aboriginal community, and these ties have been forged through our Aboriginal Advisory Group and the implementation of the recently adopted Reconciliation Action Plan 2021 – 2023. A key action included in the RAP is building respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories by celebrating NAIDOC Week. In line with this, the City ran a series of events during NAIDOC Week, including The Nullians art exhibition at the Rockingham Arts Centre by renowned local Nyoongar artist, Sharyn Egan.
National Reconciliation Week
National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.
The dates for NRW remain the same each year; 27 May - 3 June. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey: the successful 1967 referendum; and the High Court Mabo decision respectively.
The 1967 Referendum saw Australians vote overwhelmingly to amend the Constitution to allow the Commonwealth to make laws for Aboriginal people and include them in the census.
The Mabo decision recognised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have rights to the land - rights that existed before the British arrived and can still exist today. This was a turning point for the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ rights because it acknowledged their unique connection with the land. It also led to the Australian Parliament passing the Native Title Act in 1993.
The City celebrated NRW 2019 by launching the Nyoongar Stories Project. Nyoongar Stories is a collection of stories from 10 local Nyoongar people about their lives and connections to the Rockingham area.
Copies of the audio compilation are available at the City’s libraries.
The City launched its updated Reconciliation Action Plan 2021-2023 with a morning tea on Tuesday 25 May 2021 to coincide with National Reconciliation Week.
The morning tea had a Welcome to Country by Gerri Hayden. The Mayor, along with Deputy Mayor Deb Hamblin, presented hard copies of the new RAP to members of our Aboriginal Advisory Group (AAG).
There was also guest speakers, a cultural dance performance from the Yonga Boys and guests heard from the AAG members Ashley Garlett and Doreen Nelson, who spoke about the relationship between the local Aboriginal community and the City.
In 2022, the NRW theme was "Be Brave. Make Change." The City celebrated NRW by taking part in the annual Reconciliation Week Street Banner Project, promoting the Nyoongar Stories Project through local schools, and inviting staff to view the NRW Virtual Breakfast together.