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NAIDOC Week: What it is and How You Can Get Involved

NAIDOC Week is celebrated around the country and recognises the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This year, NAIDOC week will be 2-9 July 2023. 

NAIDOC Week is the perfect time to learn more about the rich history of our First Nations peoples and enjoy the incredible events happening around the country.

Read more: Five Things You Can do Right Now to Support and Celebrate First Nations Culture

What is NAIDOC Week?

NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia in the first week of July each year from Sunday to Sunday. By attending NAIDOC Week events and activities, you’ll support your local First Nations communities, learn about their histories and participate in the celebrations of one of Earth’s oldest living civilisations. 

Each year, a different theme is picked for NAIDOC Week. In 2023, the theme is For Our EldersThe aim of this theme is to reflect on the important role that elders play in the lives of Indigenous Australians. Everyone living in Australia – including international students – should make a concerted effort, during this time in particular, to learn and pay respects to the original owners of this land.

The NAIDOC Week website explains: “The struggles of our Elders help to move us forward today. The equality we continue to fight for is found in their fight. Their tenacity and strength has carried the survival of our people.

It is their influence and through their learnings that we must ensure that when it comes to future decision making for our people, there is nothing about us – without us.”

Awards are also given at the annual National NAIDOC Awards Ceremony, which recognises “the outstanding contributions that Indigenous Australians make to improve the lives of Indigenous people in their communities and beyond, to promote Indigenous issues in the wider community, or the excellence they’ve shown in their chosen field.”

How can I get involved?

NAIDOC Week is celebrated across the country through local community events. To find some in your area, visit the dedicated events page and type in your postcode. 

To get you started, some of the most exciting options in each state and territory include:

NSW – NAIDOC Family Fun Day

7 July 2023

Head to Carriageworks in Eveleigh for the Inner City NAIDOC Family Fun Day, an occasion of celebration and remembrance featuring enchanting performances from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, a barbecue lunch, market stalls and Jarjum activities. This event, organised annually since 2019 by the Eora NAIDOC Community Group, embraces the spirit of commemoration and protest.

VIC – VIC NAIDOC Flag Raising Ceremony 

3 July 2023

Every year in Melbourne, NAIDOC Week kicks off with a Flag Raising Ceremony in Fed Square. This year, it will be held on Monday 3 July 2023 from 8-9:30am. The celebration will include a Smoking Ceremony, Welcome to Country and a minute of silence for those who have come before us. 

QLD – NAIDOC in the Park

30 June 2023, 2 July 2023

Brisbane is hosting a wide range of NAIDOC Week events, including the Inala NAIDOC Week Launch on 30 June and the Indigenous Wild Foods and Cultural Festival on 2 July.

SA – Nragi Muthar/The Deadly Nannas

2 July 2023

Visit the South Australian Museum for free live performances by Nragi Muthar/The Deadly Nannas. This group of grandmothers, singing in Ngarrindjeri and English, fosters community strength and youth empowerment through cultural knowledge sharing.

WA – Unearthing Stories in Art: Zali Morgan

4 July 2023

Join emerging guest curator, Zali Morgan, for a free tour of the 2023 NAIDOC Exhibition at the City of Joondalup Library, where she’ll uncover the themes related to ‘For Our Elders’ embodied in the artwork. With Zali’s unique perspective as a Noongar woman living and working in Perth, attendees will gain insights into the artists, their practices and fascinating stories behind their work. Registration is required for this event.

ACT – MEGAfauna afterDARK

1-7 July 2023

Experience a night like no other in this immersive, illuminated and cultural event with life-size diprotodons by award-winning visual theatre masterminds Dead Puppet Society.

NT – Deadly Cup Carnival

2 July 2023

A fun day out in Darwin showcasing the Rugby League talent from across the Northern Territory. There will also be cooking demonstrations and performances.

TAS – NAIDOC Week Film Showcase

2-7 July 2023

Join Reconciliation Tasmania’s NAIDOC Week Film Showcase as it tours the state showcasing the film “Ablaze” across regional towns Bicheno, Scottsdale, Smithton, and New Norfolk. “Ablaze,” the stirring story of Yorta Yorta man, opera singer and lecturer Tiriki Onus’ quest to discover if his grandfather was the first Aboriginal filmmaker, is a celebration of family and culture.