The Bookends Project

NAIDOC Week: Always Was, Always Will Be

The theme for NAIDOC WEEK 2020, 'Always Was, Always Will Be', recognises that First Nations People have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years. Here are seven ideas for engaging with NAIDOC Week this year. 

The Australian Jesuit Province’s Bookends Project encourages everyone to observe National NAIDOC Week 2020, from 8 – 15 November.

The theme for NAIDOC WEEK 2020, ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’, recognises that First Nations People have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years.

Here are seven ideas for engaging with NAIDOC Week this year. 

1. Learn about the history of NAIDOC Week

2. Read the Uluru Statement from the Heart and reflect on its message

3. Listen to, and learn from, First Nations stories all week

  • Visit SBS for NAIDOC special programming throughout the week.
  • Visit NITV for the special NAIDOC Week or Fanforce TV for the Virtual Indigenous Film Festival.
  • Visit your local bookstores, like Readings, for their selection of First Nations literature.

4. Find your local Aboriginal Corporation, Land Council, or Traditional Owner Group, or business

  • AIATSIS is a comprehensive resource for finding accurate information including the AIATSIS map of Indigenous Australia.
  • Supply Nation is Australia’s leading database of verified Indigenous businesses.

5. Learn about Indigenous representation, the Voice to Parliament process, and treaty negotiations happening now

  • Understand the Indigenous voice co-design process underway at a national level.
  • Read about treaty negotiations in Victoria.
  • Visit The Voice for further general resources.

6. Invest and acknowledge through art and music

7. Find ways to observe NAIDOC Week in your prayers, at work, in your parishes and through your social network

The Australian Jesuit Province’s Bookends Project focuses on the two ‘bookends of rejection’ in Australian history: our treatment of First Nations peoples and our treatment of refugees and asylum seekers. 

The project is working to give the Australian Jesuit community a defined and meaningful space to reflect on the relationships we all hold, as humans, with First Nations communities and with refugees and people seeking asylum. And to determine a path forward through truth telling, to assist those communities in an environment of hospitality.

The Bookends Project would like to hear from your ministry this week and throughout the year. You can share stories and photos at hannah.welch@sjasl.org.au.

Please share your NAIDOC activities and reflections on the Australian Jesuits Facebook page and the NAIDOC events page.

We acknowledge Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognise the continuing connection to lands, waters, and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders both past and present.

Image: Young boy at NAIDOC March 2017, by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images.

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