Culture Club

A picture of NAIDOC week

NAIDOC Week 2019 is on from the 7th to the 14th of July, and there are plenty of ways you and your kids can get involved.

For over forty years, Australia has been celebrating its indigenous heritage with NAIDOC Week. The origin of NAIDOC (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee) goes all the way back to the 1920s—when groups were first organised with the purpose of raising awareness about the story of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders.

The week-long event has increased its reach year after year, to the point where it now has a schedule of over 170 different events that are held across the nation.

Each year NAIDOC week embraces a different theme, giving participants a unique aspect to focus on whilst engaging in fun activities and gaining new knowledge. For the 2019 edition—and following in the footsteps of the United Nations’ International Year of Indigenous Languages—the theme is Voice. Treaty. Truth.

Under the motto of “Let’s work together for a shared future”, this theme is intended to articulate the importance of language, how important its history is to our collective culture, and how critical it is to understand one another to move forward as a united people.

With so many events organised, there are plenty of ways you can get your kids involved in NAIDOC week. Here’s our selection of the best ways for the little ones to have fun and learn about the nation’s history.

For the full selection of events, make sure you head over to the official NAIDOC website.


Live events

There are official opening events happening nation-wide. Each has all kinds of great activities kids can partake in, including traditional Aboriginal dancing, face painting and eating plenty of great food!

The popular Kinder Dreaming program is a fantastic option for the real littlies. Taking place in town libraries, it involves activities like dances, games and storytelling. Most are free and won’t need a booking, so just turn up and have fun!

NAIDOC events will also receive plenty of attention in schools, so check the website for things happening near yours.

A picture of a child drawing.
Image: naidoc.org.au


Virtual events

With so much happening, there is just no way you could attend it all. And for plenty of people, the sheer nature of distance means they won’t be able to attend anything for real. Luckily, there are some virtual events and activities happening.

The one we want to highlight is an exciting virtual tour being put on by the National Portrait Gallery. It’s an interactive event for classrooms and communities that explores art pieces focused on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. It includes discussion, activities and even real-time drawing!


At-home events

Okay, we’re using the term ‘At-home events’ a little loosely here. Basically, it’s our way of saying ‘easy activities you can do in your house that won’t cost much’.

Making artwork is a great option to consider for kids, because it’s the perfect way to teach them about traditional techniques while exercising their creativity.

Going out to the garden and finding some rocks to do some rock painting is a great starting point, and then you could move onto doing some cave paintings using pencils on sheets of butcher’s paper.

If you’re after some really quirky activities for kids focusing on NAIDOC Week, then Pinterest is always a great source of inspiration. You’ll run out of time to do them all!

And if your kids are a little older then you could try and incorporate some profound learning into the fun. Print off the Uluru Statement from the Heart—which was the official call for change in 2017 that became a touring art piece—and let your kids create their own art around it. This will create a perfect opportunity to discuss the meaning behind the statement and answer their questions. Knowledge is power!

A picture of people posing with the Uluru Statement from the Heart
Image: 1voiceuluru.org

We’d love to know what you’re doing for NAIDOC week, so let us know in the comment section below!

 

Header image courtesy of naidoc.org.au