National NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia in the first week of July each year (Sunday to Sunday), to celebrate and recognise the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for all Australians to learn about First Nations cultures and histories and participate in celebrations of the oldest, continuous living cultures on earth.
This year’s NAIDOC theme Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! is a call for action to bring about ‘systemic change and keep rallying around our mob, our Elders and our communities.’ This includes seeking proper environmental, cultural and heritage protection, Constitutional change, a comprehensive process of truth-telling and continuing to work towards treaties.
This impactful theme is about the desire to change the relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians to one that is ‘based on justice, equity, and the proper recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ rights.’
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Rural Remote Practitioners Network (ARRPN) on behalf of the Australian Chiropractors Association (ACA) has sought to hear that call and is working actively towards Closing the Gap.
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.
The ACA has moved on towards our Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan and the ACA Board and staff recently joined together in Sydney to participate in cultural competency training – led by Dr Bill Hayward, his brother Ken Hayward and Indigenous netballer, Marcia Ella-Duncan.
The day was a fundamental step in the ACA’s RAP plan which allowed participants to immerse themselves for the duration of the program in Indigenous culture, history and tribal lore, and to seek each of us to understand own our personal relationship with racism.
The Cultural Competency training is a commitment that we have made to Reconciliation Australia in our last RAP and this training will continue until all ACA members have undertaken the experience. As with the previous RAP, we have worked hard to make sure that this RAP has a chiropractic flavour, so all members can feel that they have a real ownership.
Cultural Competency training seeks to break down the barriers of misunderstanding and prejudice regarding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples so that they can feel comfortable and safe seeking help from all ACA chiropractors.
If you would like to learn more about the NAIDOC Week theme or participate in a local NAIDOC Week event, you can visit naidoc.org.au