This year NAIDOC (National Aborigines Day Observance Committee) is celebrating 64 years since an inter-church group met in Sydney in 1956 to think about a modest idea.
The National Missionary Council of Australia representing major denominations though it would be a good idea to celebrate “an annual day of observance for Aborigines.” (A brief history of NAIDOC Week includes reference to the NMCA)
In the early 1970s movements of self-determination began to change the emphasis and committee membership was largely made up of first nation activists from across Australia.
The 1970 September meeting held at the Foundation of Aboriginal Affairs George St included leaders of a wide range of indigenous organizations.
By 1977 Federal Executive members included John Moriarty, Lester Bostock, Neville Perkins and Michael Mansell.
In Victoria annual celebrations led by Pastor Doug Nicholls and the Aborigines Advancement League merged with the annual NADOC celebrations.
Today those involved in the early years would be amazed and proud of the widespread public support and recognition now being given to a simple idea. NAIDOC is now one part in a growing movement in recognising and affirming indigenous culture and spirituality.
(Text provided by Rev Dr Dean Eland)
- Uncle Mark Kickett, Interim National Chair of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress, was part of a panel on ABC’s God Forbid talking about the work of healing for Country, especially in institutions like the church.
- Listen as Brooke Prentis and Aunty Rev Dr Denise Champion talk on ABC Soul Search about culture, faith, and their recent trip to the Flinders Ranges in South Australia to walk on Adnyamathanha country.
- Watch some of Aunty Janet Oobagooma and Ps Kirsty Burgu’s story on ABC Compass, as they talk about the sacred connections they make between culture and faith. Kirsty is the only Indigenous Uniting Church pastor in the Kimberley.
NAIDOC Week IN OUR CHURCHES
- The Synod of Queensland has shared a video reflection from Rev Roberta Stanley, from Babinda River of Life Church, on what the NAIDOC Week theme Healing Country means to her.
- Nathan Tyson spoke as a guest at a Special NAIDOC Week Service held online by Eastwood Uniting Church on Sunday 4th July 2021. Nathan is Manager, First Peoples Strategy and Engagement with the Synod of NSW/ACT.
You might also like to read the sermon shared by Assembly’s National Consultant Covenanting Stuart McMillan at Unley Uniting Church on 4 July, titled, A Foretaste of Something More