Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

NAIDOC Week 2009 – Honouring our Elders, Nurturing our Youth

The National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) and the Australian Government are encouraging communities across the country to embrace the theme of NAIDOC Week 2009 – Honouring our Elders, Nurturing our Youth.

The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, said over the years NAIDOC Week activities had extended far beyond Indigenous communities.

“Hundreds of activities are organised every year around Australia to celebrate the history, cultures and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” Ms Macklin said.

“NAIDOC Week provides an opportunity for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians to join together to recognise the valuable contribution Indigenous people have made to this country.”

National NAIDOC Committee co-chairs Anne Martin and Ben Mitchell said the theme reflected the great contribution made by Elders to community life.

“Elders are inspirational leaders and nurturers of young people,” Ms Martin said.

“The theme encompasses the achievement of Elders past and present and looks to the future,” she said.

Co-chair Ben Mitchell, said young people’s lives were enriched by the care and mentoring of Elders.

“Our young people are our future and through their guidance the Elders encourage them to find and stay on the right path.”

NAIDOC Week, from 5-12 July 2009, showcases Indigenous people’s achievements and contribution to the nation.

Indigenous Australians are encouraged to enter the NAIDOC Poster Competition and nominate fellow community members to receive National NAIDOC Awards.

The Awards ceremony, to be held in Brisbane on Friday 10 July, is a chance to acknowledge the contributions and talents of outstanding Indigenous individuals.

There are eight award categories, as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Indigenous artists can now start working on entries for the poster competition which reflects the NAIDOC theme.

The winning entry will feature on the NAIDOC poster and be displayed across Australia in workplaces, schools and community organisations.

The Poster Competition closes on Monday 6 April and the winning artwork attracts a $5000 prize. Nominations for the 2009 NAIDOC Awards close on Friday 1 May.

For entry forms and further information on NAIDOC Week, visit NAIDOC website( or talk to your nearest Indigenous Coordination Centre.