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Keep the Fire Burning! – Blak, Loud & Proud. NAIDOC Week 2024

This year’s theme celebrates the unyielding spirit of our communities and invites all to stand in solidarity, amplifying the voices that have long been silenced.

The fire represents the enduring strength and vitality of Indigenous cultures, passed down through generations despite the challenges faced. It is a symbol of connection to the land, to each other, and to the rich tapestry of traditions that define Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. As we honour this flame, we kindle the sparks of pride and unity, igniting a renewed commitment to acknowledging, preserving, and sharing the cultural heritage that enriches our nation.

“Blak, Loud and Proud” encapsulates the unapologetic celebration of Indigenous identity, empowering us to stand tall in our heritage and assert our place in the modern world. This theme calls for a reclamation of narratives, an amplification of voices, and an unwavering commitment to justice and equality. It invites all Australians to listen, learn, and engage in meaningful dialogue, fostering a society where the wisdom and contributions of Indigenous peoples are fully valued and respected.

Through our collective efforts, we can forge a future where the stories, traditions, and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are cherished and celebrated, enriching the fabric of the nation with the oldest living culture in the world.

What is NAIDOC?

NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. To understand what all that means though, we need a little bit of a history lesson. 

In 1955, the Day of Mourning or Aborigines Day was moved from the Sunday before January 26 to the first Sunday in July. It was shifted because people wanted to focus more on celebrating First Nations cultures rather than protesting. The National Aborigines Day Observance Committee was then created in 1956 to organise national events.   

In 1975,  it was decided to celebrate for a whole week — rather than just one day. NAIDOC Week was born! Then in 1991, NAIDOC Week expanded to recognise Torres Strait Islander people and cultures.  

NAIDOC Week Poster

This year’s poster is designed by Deb Belyea and is titled ‘Urapun Muy.

SAMUAWGADHALGAL, TORRES STRAIT

‘Urapun Muy’, from the Kalaw Kawaw Ya dialect of the Top Western Islands of the Torres Strait, means ‘One Fire’. The title of this work pays homage to Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal people everywhere, as we all have that one fire: our passion for our culture.

‘In this work, I have depicted the hands of our ancestors that have carefully dropped a burning ember on to a fire. This ember burns hot with intensity, stoking the flames, as it combines with the new fire. The linear detail shows the energy and power as cultural knowledge is transferred from our ancestors to us today. Culture is the fire that gives us knowledge, wisdom and purpose.

It is our responsibility to maintain, practice, and pass on our fire to our future generations.

Afterall, Culture keeps us Blak, Loud and Proud.’ Deb Belyea.

Free NAIDOC Week posters are available at over 100 Kmart, K-hub and Target stores nationally, so pop into your local to pick one up.

Digital Assets – Email Signatures, Social Media images

The official NAIDOC Week digital assets such as logo’s, email signatures, banners and social media images are all available on the NAIDOC Week website.

Songlines Bunting

Russell Brown, Songlines Principal Artist & Co-Founder has created an artwork inspired by this year’s NAIDOC Week theme that we have turned into bunting that can be used in schools, offices, workplaces & classrooms.

A free download to print and display!

Colouring In Pages

Clever Patch has a large range of free colouring in pages and activities, all designed by Indigenous artists.

NAIDOC Week Reads

Professional & Self Development

Kylie Captain is a bestselling Aboriginal author specialising in delivering engaging teacher professional learning and motivational student talks.

Kylie offers NESA Accredited and bespoke teacher and leadership professional development based on the themes of her best-selling books ‘Dream Big & Imagine the What If’ and ‘Be That Teacher who Makes a Difference and Lead Aboriginal Education for All Students’. To find out more about Kylie’s PD and inspirational books visit her website.

Learning to Ngananga has put together a List of Recommended Children’s Books for teaching Australian Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander cultures, histories and perspectives in Years K-6.

Jordyn has also put together ‘Blak Book of the Month’ is an initiative to support the inclusion of First Nations children’s books regularly throughout the year in all Australian early learning centres and primary classrooms. Learning to Nganganngha has carefully selected books to cover a range of First Nations themes/content such as identity, Country, sustainability, bush tucker, the Stolen Generations, wellbeing, art and music; as well as link to all subject areas in the Australian Curriculum and Early Years Learning Framework. Books have also been carefully chosen for particular months to align with significant dates within each month.

Learning Resources

Early Childhood

Early Childhood – ABC Kids Early Education has compiled top picks for viewing and listening in early years classrooms, at community events, and in homes. 

Primary Years

Years 3-7 Common Ground and Jordyn from Learning to Ngangannanha have collaborated to bring you a free NAIDOC Week resource.

We are eagerly awaiting the release of this resource and will post the link once it has been released.

Middle Years

Dust echoes is a series of twelve beautifully animated Dreamtime stories from central Arnhem Land. Stories of love, loyalty, duty to Country, and Aboriginal custom and law produced in collaboration with the Djilpin Aboriginal Arts Corporation.

Each chapter is supported by in-depth study guides created by ATOM, addressing the cross-curriculum priorities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures.

Foundation – Year 10

SBS Learn

SBS Learn has partnered with educator and proud Yankunyjatjara, Kokatha and Wirangu woman, Shelley Ware again in 2024 to author their educational resources for this year’s NAIDOC Week.

This teacher resource explores this year’s NAIDOC Week theme Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud. Celebrate key Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples, perspectives, histories and stories in this in-depth guide.

Australian Children’s Television FoundationAge-appropriate screen stories.

This resource provides a series of curated, age-appropriate screen stories, with a discussion point and creative response activities for students in Foundation to Year 10. Invite culture leaders and knowledge holders featured in these screen texts into the classroom for NAIDOC and beyond – to celebrate the resilience, generosity, creativity, and enduring strength of the oldest living culture in the world.  

Ways to celebrate NAIDOC Week

Early Childhood

  • Display the NAIDOC Week poster in the office and classrooms.
  • Create a collaborative Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander handprint Flag display.
  • Make Damper with the children, add some native flavours little Watte seed or Lemon Myrtle. These can be sourced from Indigi Earth
  • Listen to and sing songs that are in language. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in Noongar Language – Djinda Djinda Kanangoor
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Schools

  • Create a collaborate artwork with all students placing a hand print to create a flame.
  • Attend a local NAIDOC Week event with your students.
  • Host a school NAIDOC Week event.
  • Display the NAIDOC Week poster in the office and classrooms.
  • Host a morning tea and invite Elders and community in. Students can bake a buttery and moist Lemon Myrtle cake to share.
  • The recipe can be found on Warndu’s website along with a large range of native ingredients and recipe books.

Individuals

  • Read a book by a First Nations author.
  • Engage with local Traditional Owners and your Local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
  • Listen to Podcasts or music by First Nations artists and creatives.
  • Make a purchase from a First Nations business.
  • Add a NAIDOC Week banner to your email.
  • Attend a NAIDOC Week event.

We acknowledge and pay our respects to the people of the Bundjalung Nation, the Traditional Custodians of the beautiful land and waterways on which we live and work.

Always was. Always will be Aboriginal land.