NAIDOC Week 2020 8-15 November: How will you celebrate?

Written by Karla, CAECE Senior Trainer & Assessor




Many early childhood education and care services have the best intentions in regard to sharing the culture of the Indigenous people of Australia, but I feel I get things a little bit wrong at times. Don't get me wrong, I am not presuming I am an expert on the subject being a New Zealander with Irish/Scottish ancestry, but due to my upbringing which was one of cultural respect, learning of the Maori culture as though it was my own from a young age, I feel I have learnt enough to have an idea or two about the subject of cultural competence. Also, not all people have the same open-mindedness growing up and having totally different values and beliefs provided. When we are thinking of providing insight or learning to the families and children who attend your services, I have a few helpful things you may like to consider.


"Aboriginal Education is not only appropriate education of Aborigianl students but also must involve the education of ALL children about Indigenous Australia" - (Aboriginal Education Policy, NSW, AEGG Inc, 1995).


NAIDOC stands for the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee and has been around since 1920 when Aboriginal rights groups boycotted Australia Day (26 January) in protest against the status and treatment of Indigenous Australians. NAIDOC week changed to the first Sunday in July to celebrate the Aboriginal culture and not protest the Australia Day ceremonies on the original date, 26 January.


If using a national event such as NAIDOC week, it is a good opportunity to start learning, as it provides a good foundation to keep going forward. It is important to engage with the culture - have a personal connection and go through the proper avenues to gain an understanding of the cutlure and build relationships with Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islander communities.


It is important that we educate ourselves to feel confident in passing on knowledge about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures to all children in a meaningful and informed way.


Some different strategies you could use to gain knowledge and insight into the Indigenous people include:


Practice activities you might want to include this week:



I hope this has provided you with some practical actions to supporting you with this momentous event.