Celebrating NAIDOC Week

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of Australia and of the land on which we live and work. We acknowledge the Elders, past and present, and younger generations as the emerging leaders of the future. This land is and will always belong to our First Australians people.

National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Week, celebrated from 3 to 10 July, provides an opportunity for all Australians to learn about Indigenous cultures and our shared histories, and to participate in celebrating one of the oldest cultures on Earth.

This year, we are invited to Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! for change and to keep rallying around our mob, our Elders and our communities.

“NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians to build positive, respectful relationships and celebrate the culture of our First Australians.”

Christine Rhazi, First Australians Associate Director at Caritas Australia.

With your support, Caritas Australia works in close partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and First Australian-led organisations to support programs that focus on intergenerational healing, strengthening cultural identity and spirituality, livelihood opportunities, and advocacy.

This NAIDOC Week, we celebrate our First Australian partners who we have been able to support, thanks to your generosity.

Baabayn Aboriginal Corporation

Baabayn Aunties at NAIDOC Week event. Photo: Jessica Stone/Caritas Australia.

Baabayn Aboriginal Corporation was founded by five Aboriginal elders from Western Sydney - home to one of the largest urban First Australian populations in Australia. The work of Baabayn (which means ‘ancestral woman’) involves initiatives such as a Family Group gathering, Healing circles, Homework Club, a Mums and Bubs group and a youth group for young First Australians to connect with their culture. They also provide advocacy, counselling services and links to government departments.

Baabayn Aboriginal Corporation hosted an early celebration of NAIDOC Week. On Thursday, 21 April, they co-hosted the Get up! Stand up! Show up! event in Western Sydney, with Kimberwalli and Holy Family Parish, Mt Druitt.

The event opened with a double act: a Welcome to Country from ten-year-old Emma Hoskins, Blacktown’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Young Achiever of the Year, followed by a Smoking Ceremony from the nearly 100-year-old Uncle Wes Marne. Uncle Wes Marne regaled the crowd with the history and context of the Smoking Ceremony before inviting the audience to participate themselves by walking through the fragrant eucalyptus smoke.

Djilpin Arts

Janice poses for a picture in the shop at Djilpin Arts in the Northern Territory. Photo: Richard Wainwright/Caritas Australia.

Djilpin Arts is an art centre and social enterprise, designed and led by First Australians in a remote community in the Northern Territory.

Established in 2002 by the celebrated actor and musician and beloved community member, the late Balang T. E. Lewis, the centre provides employment, training, income, cultural healing and intergenerational connection.

It maintains and promotes traditional and contemporary visual and performing arts and provides cultural tours and tourist accommodation, whilst helping the younger generation to connect with culture.

Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation

Uncle Michael from Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation with Christine Rhazi, First Australians Associate Director at Caritas Australia. Photo: Jessica Stone/Caritas Australia.

Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation (KBHAC) was formed by the survivors of Kinchela Boys Home in Kempsey, New South Wales, who were forcibly removed from their families during childhood, part of the Stolen Generations.

It aims to support these Aboriginal men, their families and communities in developing healing programs to restore and reconstruct their identity, dignity and integrity. KBHAC takes a survivor-led approach to its governance and healing, and is committed to encouraging healthy peer support models that enable greater social inclusion in community life.

Red Dust Healing

Uncle Tom Powell, Founder of Red Dust Healing. Photo: Caritas Australia.

Red Dust Healing is a unique cultural healing and mental health program, written from an Indigenous perspective - aimed at men, women, families and community service providers.

Through training workshops, Uncle Tom Powell, the Founder of the program, helps participants to target issues affecting their lives and to pursue personal journeys of growth and wellbeing.

With your help, Caritas Australia is able to provide support to this award-winning First Australian-led program which has already helped over 17,000 people in Australia and overseas.

Programs Snapshot: First Australians | Caritas Australia

Christine Rhazi, our First Australians Associate Director, introduces you to the work of our First Australian partners, and how your support you can help keep indigenous culture strong for generations to come.