NAIDOC celebrations are held around Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The origins of NAIDOC Week can be traced back to the Aboriginal Rights Movement. On Australia Day 1938, a march was conducted through the streets of Sydney protesting the status and treatment of Aboriginal Australians. This protest was one of the first major civil rights gatherings in the world and it became known as the ‘Day of Mourning’.
Prior to 2008, the NAIDOC Week events in the City of Sydney were coordinated by the Inner City Aboriginal Multi-Purpose Association (ICAMPA). ICAMPA was comprised of representatives from Aboriginal organisations and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers from government departments. NAIDOC Week events were delivered with financial and staffing support from the City. Events were organised in Redfern and Woolloomooloo and included a flag raising ceremony, Redfern Park to the Block march on the first Monday of NAIDOC Week, an Elder's Lunch and the Redfern NAIDOC Week Family Day.
Following recommendations from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Panel in response to Sustainable Sydney 2030; the City’s Eora Journey introduced a signature event in 2012 to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. The event, called NAIDOC in the City, has been held in Hyde Park since 2012. The intention of NAIDOC in the City is to celebrate NAIDOC Week and to promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, identity, knowledge and businesses to the broader City community of residents and visitors. Since 2012 until 2019 the event attracted 4500 up to 10,000 attendees. In 2020 NAIDOC in the City went online for the first time.
This year's theme ‘Heal Country!’ calls for stronger measures to recognise, protect, and maintain all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and heritage.
A look back at one of the NAIDOC in the City Highlights