Celebrating NAIDOC Week at Arriba Group

Across the Arriba Group, we are committed to celebrating NAIDOC Week and recognising the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. To understand more about the importance of this week, the theme and ways we can get involved, we asked Jodie Ahwang, Arriba Group’s Head of Indigenous Programs a few questions to learn more about this important week.

  1. NAIDOC Week this year falls on on 7th – 14th July, could you explain to those who aren’t aware what this week represents?National NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia in the first week of July each year (Sunday to Sunday), to celebrate and recognise the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for all Australians to learn about First Nations cultures and histories and participate in celebrations of the oldest, continuous living cultures on earth. You can support and get to know your local Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities through activities and events held across the country.
  2. This year’s theme is ‘Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud’, what does this mean?
    It’s important to know the meaning of this year’s theme which is as follows: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.
  3. How will you be celebrating the week?
    I have the privilege to be part of the NAIDOC Committee here on Yuwi Country in Mackay. We have a packed calendar of events open to everyone to attend. The best part of the week will be the Street Parade which I will be proudly co-ordinating again this year and watching the Mackay community come together and walk as one through the streets down to Queens Park for Family Fun Day celebrations.
  4. What kinds of ways would you suggest that people can get involved in NAIDOC Week?
    In many communities, we celebrate by organising small events during the week but most importantly a Street Parade. We encourage families and individuals to participate proudly, wearing Indigenous artwork shirts. Most communities have Facebook pages promoting events, or you can visit the official NAIDOC website to find registered events in your region. AimBig Employment Mackay is committed to supporting the local community by participating in this years NAIDOC March and attending the family day on Friday 12 July 2024 9am at Macalister street Mackay QLD 4740.
  5. What ways can other organisations show their support for NAIDOC Week?
    Organisations can show their support in numerous and meaningful ways such as– Hosting cultural workshops and guest speaker events
    – Showcasing Indigenous art and performances
    – Engaging with and supporting local Indigenous communities.
    – Promoting and purchasing from Indigenous businesses.
    – Sharing NAIDOC Week content on social media and internal channels.
    – Providing cultural competency training for your team.
    – Recognising the Traditional Custodians of the land in our events and communications.
    – Creating spaces that celebrate Indigenous culture.
    – Supporting our Indigenous staff through resource groups and career development.It’s important to remember that celebrating NAIDOC Week and other cultural events is just the starting point. Use these opportunities as a stepping stone to integrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture into your organisation, making it an essential part of the bigger picture.

Thank you Jodie for sharing with us. Happy NAIDOC Week to everyone and we look forward to getting involved by engaging with the local indigenous communities across Australia!