NAIDOC in Darwin is a big deal. Gaining momentum over the last ten years, the number, size and significance of events has increased owing to the collaborative efforts of an increasing number of stakeholders actively advocating throughout the year to ensure a diverse calendar of events is prepared for the whole community to enjoy. “Us mob call our land our mother and when we care for our country, our country provides for us. To heal country also means we need to heal ourselves and we need to do this together, we need to gather together, we need to celebrate together, so we can all find harmony together, this will make country happy. Happy NAIDOC Week everyone!” Richard Fejo, Chairman Larrakia Nation Aboriginal Corporation.
So many events!
Celebrations are at an all-time high this year with over 50 events planned prior to the Covid-19 restrictions being put in place last week. The newly revised dates fall from 11 to 21 July within excess of 40 events kicking off this Sunday with a flag raising ceremony in Palmerston.
“Pride for our country shines through in many aspects throughout the week”, said Larrakia woman Nicole Brown as celebrations continue to be led by traditional owners on our country.
“There is growing awareness throughout the broader Darwin and Palmerston communities with people wanting to be part of our celebrations. The increased support is an acknowledgment of First Nations history and a reason to celebrate our story and achievements” said Nicole. “More and more, people want to learn about our culture and NAIDOC has become a way to education, grow awareness and be present in our community”.
Key Larrakia Nation Events 2021
Larrakia Nation has three key events
- Monday 12 July Flag Raising Ceremony @ LNAC Head Office in Coconut Grove 8:00am
- Tuesday 13 July Elders Luncheon (invites only) @ Silks
- Friday 16 July NAIDOC breakfast, March and Speeches @ TBC 8:00am
Flag Raising Ceremony
This event kicks off NAIDOC week in Darwin and attracts hundreds of people. “It’s our land and as proud custodians we are launching NAIDOC on country” explained Nicole. There will be a Welcome to Country followed by other speakers and the all important flag raising ceremony. Everybody is encouraged to attend and celebrate with Larrakia people and business and community leaders.
This event used to the be called ‘Dinner Under the Stars’ and held at the Larakia Nation head office. Last year we moved the venue to Silks and turned the event into a lunch instead of a dinner. It’s an important celebration for our elders and one of the favourite NAIDOC events. Please note this event is invite only.
Community Fun Day
Coordinated by Life Without Barriers and supported by Larrakia Nation, this whole day event is another highlight on the calendar. Held at the Jingili Watergardens and starting at 9:00am all families are encouraged to come and spend the day together.
NAIDOC Breakfast, March & Speeches
This is the major community event of NAIDOC week and brings together the whole Darwin community to march in celebration of First Nations people. Everyone is invited to share breakfast from 8:00am at a location to be confirmed and enjoy live entertainment before starting the March through the CBD at 10:00am. We encourage everyone to wear Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander colours and don’t be shy of the NAIDOC photographers!
Sponsors and Supporters
This year has the biggest ever number of sponsors and supporters. In 2018 we had 23, in 2019 there was 37, in 2020 we had 60 and this year there are 93 (all of which are listed at the bottom of the calendar). We believe this continuing increase in support demonstrates a willingness by the community to come together and celebrate our First Nations people. “This is a celebration, and more and more people want to be involved” said Nicole.
According to the NAIDOC website, the theme Healing Country is about calling for stronger measures to recognise, protect and maintain all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage. Check the website for heaps more information about NAIDOC around Australia www.naidoc.org.au