NAIDOC celebrations are held around Australia in the first full week in July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
NAIDOC originally stood for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’. This committee was once responsible for organising national activities during NAIDOC Week (see History of NAIDOC), and its acronym has become the name of the week itself.
The week is celebrated not just in the Indigenous community, but also in increasing numbers of government agencies, schools, local councils and workplaces.
At the local Marrickville Addison Rd Community Centre a big event was held last Sunday 8th July 2007 with more events all week there with more detail here: Linda Burney MP launches NAIDOC week action at Addison Gallery 2pm Sunday 8th July 07
Here are images of the launch at ARC:
Postscript #1 11th July 2007
While most Big Media are involved in supporting the underlying positive message behind NAIDOC, politically minded people probably unwisely seek to leverage the event. This was evident in the event above in some speechmaking but we didn't bother to report it because it was a negative energy compared to the greater truth of such a friendly positive cross cultural vibe as proven by the artwork too showing a love of land, love of life, love of humanity.
That is not to say some artworks were not cutting in their politics too. So it's not reality to sanitise/ go all Pollyanna either. These messages of the Indigenous are pretty strong in the Big Media on January 26th Australia Day aka Invasion Day aka Survivial Day. But it is a choice, and here at SAM we make an ethical editorial decision to amplify the "celebration" as per our introduction which is a straight lift from the official NAIDOC website.
Which brings us to today front page poison headline in today's low rent Sydney Daily Telegraph appealing to the white trash One Nation types
referring to this "sorry song" about the stolen generation subject of a federal govt report called Bringing Them Home in a NSW School songbook.
Here is their deliberately provocative, argumentative piece that inevitably leads to angst tension and dissension:
CHILDREN as young as eight are being taught to sing sorry to Aborigines in a widely distributed song book, sparking concerns that NSW students are being "politically indoctrinated".
But for all those schools with lots of Aboriginal and non Aboriginal kids it's probably a great song as per this very profound witness of Bob Randall and his very well known song "Brown Skin Baby .... they take him away" which actually happened to the artist at age 7:
Funny isn't it how our kids are supposed to learn about the death and heroism of Gallipoli, but not about the sad history of Australia too. We read the other day of how anti semitism should not be sanitised in another context. Well exactly.
Another ugly editorial performance by the Daily Telegraph. It's not a song of shame. It's a song of historical reality. By the by, the first picture above by Barbara Weir is based on her experience as a child of hiding in the long grass for hours whenever the white welfare officers came to "steal" her from her parents. The price tag is $26,500.
What is quite wicked is the sneaky way the Telegraph headline is slyly equivocal, from one angle addressing a past 'shameful' situation of stolen children, but then leading into a text attacking schools for allegedly politicising children as the 'real' shame. Gallipoli anyone - conscription, abuse of colonials by British idiot generals, warfare to solve international disagreements .....?
Here is the Bob Randall tune - and it takes a heart of ice and stone to deny the emotional power of the song for its tenderness
Postscript #2 12th July 2007
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> Good article Tom , Give it to 'em Brother ....
A school in NSW has banned students from singing a song with lyrics that calls for an apology to be given to Aboriginal people. A NSW politician is worried that young children are being indoctrinated while at school, but the song's composer doesn't know what all the fuss is about.