Queensland celebrates NAIDOC 2020 differently

Due to the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Queensland is celebrating NAIDOC Week differently — but just as proudly — in November.

During NAIDOC Week 2020 (8-15 November), Queensland communities will come alive with lights, storytelling, community events and more to celebrate the world’s two oldest living cultures.

The November dates follow the National NAIDOC Committee decision to postpone the usual July dates due to COVID-19 impacts.

NAIDOC Week is an opportunity to acknowledge the lived experiences, centuries of resilience and ongoing contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

This year’s national theme ‘Always was. Always will be’ recognises that First Nations peoples have occupied and cared for this continent for more than 65,000 years.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are Australia’s first explorers, first navigators, first engineers, first farmers, first botanists, first scientists, first diplomats, first astronomers, first businesspeople and first artists.

This year, we celebrate this continuing history that dates back thousands of generations.

Queensland is home to the nation’s second largest population of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples. All Queenslanders are invited to join this national celebration of the continued histories, traditions, diverse cultures and ongoing achievements of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Queenslanders can join celebrations online, using social media or in their community.

Iconic local landmarks, infrastructure and public spaces including Brisbane’s Story Bridge, Suncorp Stadium and Queensland Parliament House, Munro Martin Park in Cairns, the Sir Albert Abbott Administration Building in Mackay, Rockhampton’s Riverfront Heritage Buildings, the Victoria Street Bridge in Toowoomba and various Townsville landmarks will light up in colours of the Aboriginal flag and Torres Strait Islander flag to celebrate NAIDOC Week 2020.

People attending events are reminded to maintain good hygiene, keep social distancing and stay home if you are feeling sick, particularly to keep Elders and communities healthy.

Visit the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships (DATSIP) NAIDOC calendar at www.datsip.qld.gov.au/naidoc to find local events and light up locations.

DATSIP is also shining a light on the stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders in honour of this year’s national NAIDOC theme ‘Always was. Always will be’ on deadly stories Facebook and Instagram. Elders are the custodians of customary knowledge and lore—they are the wisdom keepers for current and future generations.

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