Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Celebrating NAIDOC Week

Joint Media Release with:

  • Julie Collins MP
    Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development

    Warren Snowdon MP
    Minister for Indigenous Health

The Australian Government today welcomed the start of National Aboriginal and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Week with more than $1.4 million in funding to support community events across Australia.

NAIDOC Week provides an opportunity for all Australians to come together and celebrate the unique place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

NAIDOC Week runs from 7 to 14 July and all Australians are encouraged to participate in this year’s activities.

Flag-raising ceremonies, community barbecues, traditional cooking and art workshops are among the hundreds of local events that will be held across the country.

This is a great time for us to recognise and reflect on the very important contribution that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples make to their communities and the nation.

The national theme for NAIDOC Week this year – We Value the Vision: Yirrkala Bark Petitions 1963 – celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Yirrkala bark petitions.

In July 1963, the Yolngu people from the Gove Peninsula in the Northern Territory sent two bark petitions to the Australian Parliament.

These petitions sought recognition of their rights to their traditional lands and voiced opposition to mining exploration in the area.

Although not successful in halting mining operations, the Yirrkala bark petitions were significant as the first traditional documents to be tabled in the Australian Parliament, and today they are rightly counted among the founding documents of our nation.

NAIDOC Week is also about looking ahead and continuing our efforts to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.

The Australian Government understands that ending disadvantage caused by decades of underinvestment will take time. That’s why we have set out a clear pathway to close the gap, and we’re making the investments that are needed to get there.

The National NAIDOC Awards Ceremony and Ball will be held on 12 July in Perth. The annual awards recognise contributions from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across 10 award categories, including the Lifetime Achievement Award.

For a full list of NAIDOC Week activities, visit or call your nearest Indigenous Coordination Centre on 1800 079 098.