The theme for NAIDOC Week 2020, Always Was, Always Will Be, recognises that First Nations Peoples have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years.
This week we celebrate the spiritual and cultural connection of those who walked here first.
We are reminded that this country was criss-crossed by generations of brilliant nations. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples were Australia’s first explorers, first navigators, first engineers, first farmers, first botanists, first scientists, first diplomats, first astronomers and first artists.
Through ingenious land management systems like fire stick farming, First Nations Peoples transformed the harshest continent into a land of bounty.
Australia has the world’s oldest oral stories. The First Peoples engraved the world’s first maps, made the earliest paintings of ceremony and invented unique technologies. They built and engineered structures predating well-known sites such as the Egyptian Pyramids and Stonehenge. First Nations Peoples have lived in harmony with creation for millennia and their knowledge is vital to the present climate crisis we face.
NAIDOC Week 2020 invites all Australians to see, hear and learn about the 65,000+ year history of this country.
Our nation’s story didn’t begin with documented European contact, whether in 1770 or 1606 with the arrival of the Dutch on the western coast of the Cape York Peninsula. The very first footprints on this continent were those belonging to First Nations Peoples.
For First Nations Peoples, this nation’s story began at the dawn of time.
All Australians are encouraged to celebrate that First Nations Australians have the oldest continuing cultures on the planet and to recognise that their sovereignty was never ceded.
We invite you to watch the introduction to NAIDOC Week from Interim UAICC National Chairperson Ps Mark Kickett and UCA President Dr Deidre Palmer. They offer an encouragement to UCA members to connect and share stories and to celebrate the First Nations Peoples of this land and her waters.
During NAIDOC Week, we will be sharing videos and reflective pieces on the week’s theme. We encourage you to mark NAIDOC Week on Sunday 15 November in your worship services. You might play one of the video’s shared or connect with a local First Nations or UAICC community to share their story. You might like to share the prayer provided or you could write one of your own.
Let us celebrate Always Was, Always Will Be – NAIDOC 2020.
Adapted from theme at: https://www.naidoc.org.au
Further teaching resources can be found at: https://www.naidoc.org.au/resources/teaching-guides