On Wednesday night, Elizabeth couldn’t get to sleep because she had a tummy ache. I prepared a hot water bottle for her, and both me and Mrs BobinOz took it into her bedroom to try and help her to go to sleep.
Mrs BobinOz said “Try to sleep darling, it’s NAIDOC Day tomorrow, so it should be fun at school.”
NAIDOC stands for the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. NAIDOC Week occurs from the first Sunday in July until the second Sunday in July every year. So why did Elizabeth’s school have their NAIDOC on Thursday the 12th? They appear to be a week late.
Well, I suppose it’s understandable, last week was school holidays.
So what is it?
“NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life. The week is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and to support your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.”
I hope they don’t mind, but I took that from the ‘about’ page at the NAIDOC website; you can find out more about it for yourself by visiting naidoc.org.au.
Me, I decided to find out what it was really all about by asking somebody who was there at a real live NAIDOC event.
An interview with Elizabeth
I opened my interview with a stunning question. “Elizabeth, what was NAIDOC Day like?”
E: “Well, it was fun because we got to watch this man playing on the guitar, um, and aboriginal things like the didgeridoo and the stomp box as well…”
B: “What’s a stomp box?”
E: “It’s something where you put your foot on it, like you press it and it makes noises…”
B: “What sort of noises?”
E: “Boom, boom, boom!”
There you have it.
Of course, that’s the view of an eight-year-old, but this is much bigger than school children learning about aboriginal culture. The big event, apparently, is the NAIDOC Ball which is held in cities across the nation, but there are many other events held in each and every state in the country.
Markets, public displays, workshops, storytime and painting, film screenings, exhibitions, fun runs and much more. And I missed it all because I only heard about it on Wednesday evening.
Let’s take a look at the Musgrave Park Family Fun Day from NAIDOC Week 2011 here in Brisbane.