Traditionally, NAIDOC Week is celebrated right around the country and is held in the first full week of July running Sunday to Sunday. For 2020, it should have been Sunday 5 to Sunday 12 July. However, new dates have been announced for NAIDOC Week this year due to the impacts and uncertainty from the COVID-19 pandemic across Australia. The decision by the National NAIDOC Committee to postpone NAIDOC Week from the original July dates was aimed at protecting vulnerable elders and those in indigenous communities with chronic health issues. So, National NAIDOC Week 2020 celebrations will be held from Sunday 8 to Sunday 15 November, with the theme #AlwaysWasAlwaysWillBe. Of course, the original July dates for NAIDOC Week may still be acknowledged by individuals, communities and organisations.
NAIDOC 2020 Poster Competition winner announced Tyrown Waigana, a Perth based artist and designer, has been named as this year's winner of the coveted National NAIDOC Poster Competition. His winning entry entitled "Shape of Land", was judged by the National NAIDOC Committee to have best illustrated the 2020 NAIDOC theme of Always Was, Always Will Be.
Mr Waigana is a proud Noongar and Saibai Islander who has previously been named as one of WA's best new and emerging indigenous artists. His winning entry depicts the Rainbow Serpent coming out of the Dreamtime to create this country and how we are all strongly connected to it. "The Rainbow Serpent is represented by the snake and it forms the shape of Australia, which symbolises how it created our lands. The colour from the Rainbow Serpent is reflected on to the figure to display our connection to the Rainbow Serpent, thus our connection to country. The overlapping colours on the outside is the Dreamtime. The figure inside the shape of Australia is a representation of Indigenous Australians showing that this country - since the dawn of time - always was, and always will be Aboriginal land."
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islands Dancers (May Cross)
This year's competition attracted a staggering 270 entries nationally who responded to the 2020 NAIDOC theme. It must have been a challenging task for the committee to choose a single winner from such a huge range of entries. The winning artist, who has a Bachelor of Arts majoring in graphic design, advertising and illustration and photography, runs his own brand and business, "Crawlin Crocodile".
Read an Indigenous Book During NAIDOC Week (May Cross)
Mr Waigana said, "My passion for art and design comes from an early age and my goal is to make a living of being an artist and take on exciting new creative projects. I love to learn new techniques and platforms I can create on." As the winner, he has his artwork displayed on the 2020 National NAIDOC Poster and receives a cool $10,000 cash prize. More than 100,000 posters will be printed and distributed across the country to schools, universities, government departments, organisations and shopping centres. Free printed copies of the 2020 National NAIDOC Poster will be available soon. Last year there were also 48,000 digital downloads of the 2019 NAIDOC Week poster.
The iconic NAIDOC poster has been celebrating and promoting NAIDOC Week since the late 1960s and rose to national prominence in the 1970s with the establishment of the Indigenous rights movement. To find out more about this year's artwork and winning artist and to download a digital copy of the 2020 National NAIDOC Poster visit the NAIDOC website.
Get Youself Authentic Indigenous Designs (May Cross)
Here are some ideas on how to celebrate NAIDOC Week, either in July or November or both:
Check out Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and crafts. I love Meeanjin Markets for all things indigenous.
Display the National NAIDOC Poster, other indigenous posters and/or the aboriginal flag.
Research Indigenous history online or visit your local library to find books about Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples.
Visit local Indigenous sites of significance or interest.
Learn the meanings of some local or national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander place names and words.
Invite local Indigenous Elders to speak or give a Welcome to Country at your workplace.
Invite an Indigenous sportsperson or artist to visit.
Invite Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander dancers to perform.
Host a community BBQ or lunch.
Hold a flag-raising ceremony.
Organise a smoking ceremony.
Listen to Indigenous musicians or watch a movie about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history. I can highly recommend Gurrumul.
Enjoy Gurrumul's music, book or film (May Cross)
What is NAIDOC? In 1991, with a growing awareness of the distinct cultural histories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, NADOC was expanded to recognise Torres Strait Islander people and culture. The committee then became known as the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC). This acronym has become the title for the whole week, not just the day. Each year, a theme is chosen to reflect the important issues and events for NAIDOC Week.