As we enter the acknowledgement of "Always Was, Always Will Be", Pearl Taylor reflects on Listening through Art and Acknowledgement of Country.
"Always Was, Always Will Be is a call for justice but also a National Truth. I pray for the day it is a message embedded in every Australian's heart."
- Brooke Prentis (Wakka Wakka)
"Finally, recognition that we, the First Nations people of Australia, are Spiritually and Physically connected to the Land and waterways, hallelujah!"
- Aunty Sue Hodges (Wiradjuri)
"Always Was, Always Will Be is about our ancient and enduring connectedness to land, our resilience and wisdom, and our dynamic future."
- Adam Gowen (Wiradjuri)
"Always Was, Always Will Be is a statement of deep healing & connection. When despair seeks to constrict us to death, this truth enlivens our purpose & strength."
- Safina Stewart (Wuthathi Country and Mabuiag Island)
"Always Was, Always Will Be acknowledges our deep and lasting connection to the land. Through this connection we encounter the glory of God."
- Bianca Manning (Gomeroi)
This NAIDOC Week, we are calling you to listen. To listen to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian Leaders. To listen to the land, acknowledging that it Always Was, Always Will Be. And through this deep listening we invite you to connect, to acknowledge and to take action.
NAIDOC Week is an annual celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures. It is an important time for all Australians to commemorate and recognise the contributions and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to these lands now called Australia.
On 18 March 2020 the National NAIDOC Week Committee announced they were postponing official NAIDOC celebrations due to COVID-19. As the new dates had not yet been announced and due to the honouring of William Cooper’s legacy as an Aboriginal Christian Leader, we decided to still mark NAIDOC during the original dates 5 - 12 July, as well as the new dates for 2020, 8 - 15 November. NAIDOC Week always runs from the first Sunday to the second Sunday in July, and this will still be the case in years to come. This year we have had the opportunity to continue Walking Together with two opportunities to celebrate NAIDOC Week.
The 2020 NAIDOC Week theme is: Always Was Always Will Be. This theme is in reference to the continuing connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to these lands now called Australia since time immemorial to today and beyond. This connection involves caring for and stewarding the lands and waters, and is deeply cultural and spiritual. Always Was Always Will Be recognises the true history of this nation, not a history founded in colonisation that is only 250 years old.
Read more about the history of NAIDOC Week here.
Read more about this year’s NAIDOC theme here.