Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

NAIDOC Week 2013 – We value the vision: Yirrkala Bark Petitions

The celebration of the unique connection Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have with country will be recognised in the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) celebrations later this year.

The 2013 NAIDOC theme announced today is We value the vision: Yirrkala Bark Petitions 1963. The theme celebrates the 50th anniversary of the presentation of the Petitions to Federal Parliament in 1963.

The Bark Petitions appealed for the recognition of Yolngu rights to land, and were a catalyst in progressing changes to the Constitution in the 1967 referendum, the statutory acknowledgment of Aboriginal land rights by the Commonwealth in 1976 and the introduction of the Native Title Act.

NAIDOC week provides an opportunity for Australians to come together and recognise the unique place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia.

As part of NAIDOC Week, hundreds of events will be held across the country to encourage all Australians to learn about, experience and celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

This year’s celebrations, to be held from 7-14 July, are supported with more than $2.2 million from the Australian Government.

Nominations have also opened for the National NAIDOC Awards and the National NAIDOC poster competition.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are encouraged to nominate fellow community members for these prestigious awards, which highlight the achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

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

Award nominations close on 26 April, and award recipients will be honoured during NAIDOC Week and at the National NAIDOC Awards Ceremony and Ball in Perth on 12 July.

The poster competition provides the opportunity for national exposure to upcoming Indigenous artists, with the National NAIDOC Poster displayed across Australia in workplaces, schools and community organisations.

The annual poster competition includes a $5,000 prize for the winning design, which will become the image for the 2012 National NAIDOC Poster. Entries close on 29 March.

For entry forms and further information on NAIDOC Week, visit or call your nearest Indigenous Coordination Centre on 1800 079 098.