Australia Launches NAIDOC Week

The Australian High Commission launched NAIDOC Week yesterday celebrating the history, culture and achieveMen’s of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

NAIDOC originally was an acronym for the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee.


The Committee was officially formed on Australia Day in 1938 in Sydney by an estimated group of 100 Aboriginal people who gathered for the First Day of Mourning to protest against the treatment of Aboriginal people around Australia.


The Sabai Islanders from Torres Strait marked the launch with traditional dances.

This year’s NAIDOC Week theme, “Serving Country: Centenary and Beyond”, honors all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who fought in defense of Australia.


Australian High Commissioner Deborah Stokes said there’s a long way to go to address the disadvantages faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, but assured Australia’s commitment to closing the gap between Indigenous and other Australians.


The launch showed cultural color and flair in the form of traditional dances from the Sabai Island people, who share many close cultural and linguistic ties with Papua New Guinea.


The Sabai Island people are also participating in the Melanesian Festival of Arts and Culture and their spokesman Jehemess Pariala was grateful for the invitation to expose and share the close cultural ties between Torres Strait and PNG.

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