NAIDOC Week is traditionally held across Australia from the first Sunday in July until the following Sunday, and provides an opportunity to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This celebration is not only for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, but for all Australians. NAIDOC Week provides an opportunity to participate in a wide range of events and activities to support local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
This year, the theme for NAIDOC week is ‘Heal Country!’ and recognises that Country and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture is the essence of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The theme ‘Heal Country!’ was chosen by the National NAIDOC Committee and calls for all of us to continue to seek greater protections for our lands, our waters, our sacred sites and our cultural heritage from exploitation, desecration, and destruction. The theme invites the nation to embrace First Nations cultural knowledges and understanding of Country as part of Australia’s national heritage, and to equally respect the cultures and values of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as they do the cultures and values of all Australians. Heal Country, heal our nation.1
What is the relationship between ACA and NAIDOC Week?
A key commitment of the ACA’s Reconciliation Action Plan and reconciliation journey is to advance reconciliation within our sphere of influence. At the very heart of reconciliation and the ACA’s journey is the building of respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and histories.
NAIDOC Week provides an excellent opportunity for the chiropractic profession to engage with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to build an understanding of culture, knowledge, connection to land and ways of healing.
By increasing our understanding and developing cultural safety we move a step closer to achieving both our vision for reconciliation as articulated in our Reconciliation Action Plan and our core vision for more Australians to value and experience chiropractic care for their health and wellbeing.
If you would like to learn more about the NAIDOC week theme or participate in a local NAIDOC week event, you can visit www.naidoc.org.au
Reconciliation Action Plan
We launched our inaugural ‘Reflect’ Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in October 2019. The purpose of the RAP is to meet the specific needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by showing an organisational commitment to cultural acceptance and understanding. The RAP Working Group and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Rural and Remote Practitioner Network (ARRPN) are finalising the completion of our ‘Innovate’ RAP.
The RAP is available to all and we recommend you take the time to read it thoroughly so you to can understand the Association’s commitment toward improving the health of Australia’s first people, not just in words but in actions.
Closing the Gap Webinar
The ACA is committed to ‘closing the gap’ between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Aboriginal and non-Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing. Closing the gap cannot be achieved without building understanding and genuine health partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and organisations.
We encourage all ACA members to view our Closing the Gap webinar, presented by ARRPN Chair Dr Joan van Rotterdam and special guest Dr Troy Walker. This webinar explores the history of Closing the Gap and health policies from an academic point of view, relating them back to the Aboriginal concepts of culture and country. The concepts in this webinar will provide a foundation for practitioners seeking to build cultural awareness.
- naidoc.org.au. 2021. 2021 theme. [online] Available at: naidoc.org.au/get-involved/2021-theme [Accessed 21 June 2021].