Media Release by Senator the Hon Mark Arbib

Naidoc Week 2011 – Change: the Next Step is Ours

Communities across the country are encouraged to get involved in this year’s National Aborigines and Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) celebrations to be held from 3 to 10 July.

The theme of this year’s NAIDOC Celebrations is Change: the next step is ours.

The theme reflects the work being done by Indigenous people across the country who are taking responsibility for their own future and shaping the changes they want to see in their communities.

Acting Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Mark Arbib said as part of NAIDOC Week, hundreds of events were planned across the country to encourage all Australians to learn about, experience and celebrate Indigenous culture and the achievements of Indigenous people.

“This year’s celebrations are set to be a great success,” Senator Arbib said.

National NAIDOC Committee co-chairs Anne Martin and Ben Mitchell said this year’s theme was about taking responsibility for our future. 

“To control the change we need to plan and take action to make it happen. It’s our future,” Ms Martin said.

“To ensure a brighter outlook for all Indigenous Australians – government, business and individuals must work together to take the next step and make positive changes,” Mr Mitchell said.    

Senator Arbib said that as part of the celebrations the annual NAIDOC awards ceremony will be held in Sydney on 8 July.

“These awards are a chance to acknowledge the contributions and talents of outstanding Indigenous people,” Senator Arbib said.

“I encourage people to nominate fellow community members for these prestigious awards.”

There are 10 award categories, including a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Senator Arbib also encouraged people to enter the 2011 NAIDOC Poster Competition.

The annual poster competition includes a $5,000 prize for the winning design which will be displayed across Australia in workplaces, schools and community organisations.

The poster competition closes on 1 April and nominations for the awards close on 29 April. For entry forms and further information on NAIDOC Week, visit Naidoc website or visit your nearest Indigenous Coordination Centre.