Celebrating NAIDOC Week: The History of Activism & Australia’s First Nations people

juillet 8, 2022


Since invasion in Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander activists have campaigned for social, political and economic justice.

NAIDOC Week – which is being celebrated across Australia right now – is a celebration and recognition of the history, achievements, and culture of First Nations people.

And the history of NAIDOC week has its roots in the early twentieth century with the activists who were organising for parliamentary representation. 

In 1938, on Australia Day, activists marched the streets of Sydney (Eora) in what came to be known as the  ‘Day of Mourning’. From 1955, the date was shifted to the first Sunday in July and became a day to celebrate First Nations culture and a moment to organise for First Nations justice. Read more here.

In 1974, First Nations leaders decided that the event should span a week – from the first to the second Sunday in July. Finally in the 1990s, in recognition of the culture and history of Torres Strait Islander people, NADOC became NAIDOC as we know it today.

Every NAIDOC Week has a unique theme and in 2022, it is “Get up! Stand up! Show up!”

First Nations people have been connected with the land we call Australia for thousands of years; managing delicate ecosystems and stewarding the land and waters we now live on. 

In a country undergoing a severe climate crisis, it is First Nations people who Australians need to follow to be able to understand and preserve our climate and land. With many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on the front-lines of climate change, celebrating and growing our understanding of the only knowledge system that can steward the land won’t be enough. We must also seek justice. This means constitutional recognition and a voice to parliament, a treaty and a committed, honest and participatory truth and reconciliation process. We have work to do. 

Read more about the deep history of activism and First Nations history of NAIDOC week at the NAIDOC website, or check out some of the fantastic activities happening around Australia this July.

Get up, stand up and show up to some events, voice your support, recognition and thanks to cultures that span over 60,000+ years of care for this beautiful land. 

Sophie Drummond Digital Campaigner and Events Coordinator
Choose Both: A Digital Guide
for Equity & Evidence