July 4 marks the beginning of NAIDOC week 2021 in Australia, a moment to celebrate and acknowledge the culture, history and significant achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This years theme, 'Heal Country!', calls for the necessary recognition, protection and maintenance of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people, culture, and the stolen land upon which Australians call home. It is a call for historical, political, and systemic change in the name of sovereignty and empowerment for all Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander communities. As an opportunity and launch pad to celebrate the culture, contributions and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander peoples, below, you can find a non-comprehensive list of suggestions of how to effectively celebrate NAIDOC week. Many of these suggestions we encourage continual action on, beyond NAIDOC week itself, such as donating, educating ourselves, supporting businesses, and getting involved with initiatives. For more suggestions and insight into what NAIDOC means to Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander peoples, Blak Business has put together an insightful survey for further understanding.
Pay The Rent - An organisation that assists Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander peoples with financial needs with a voluntary scheme where willing Australians pay a percentage of their income to a body led by Indigenous elders. Pay the Rent is an NGO controlled by the community.
The Indigenous Literacy Foundation - The Indigenous Literacy Foundation aims to instil a love of reading in young Indigenous children across Australia by providing culturally appropriate books - with a focus on early literacy and first language, and running programs to inspire the communities to tell and publish their own stories, in the languages they choose.
First Nations Rainbow - First Nations Rainbow's mission is to bring together Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander peoples who also identify as brotherboy’s, sistergirls or as part of the LGBTQI community to be able to strengthen community, improve wellbeing and reduce stigma and discrimination.
National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation - The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service is a primary health care service initiated and operated by the local Aboriginal community to deliver holistic, comprehensive, and culturally appropriate health care to the community which controls it. You can find your local community-controlled health organisation at the designated link to find where best to donate.
Deadly Connections - a Sydney based service providing holistic and culturally responsive interventions and services to First Nations people and communities, in particular, those who have been impacted by the child protection or justice systems while also advocating and collaborating with the government to improve these systems.
For a range of topics to guide your learning, Blak Business's learning page is an excellent place to start, with extensive resources such as cultural history, significant dates for First Nations peoples, and other necessary learning. To support the work they are doing, we encourage following them on Instagram, liking, commenting, and sharing with your friends.
Additionally, head to NITV for their week-long content around the event, where a range of documentaries, movies and current affairs programs will be airing.
Support Indigenous Owned Businesses
For NAIDOC week and beyond, supporting Indigenous-Owned businesses is always important. You can see a list of our favourite Indigenous-Owned businesses to have on your radar, here.
Volunteering for charitable organisations or offering your assistance where you can to support anti-racism organisations is often just as valuable as a financial donation. Part of the fight for equality involves educating ourselves on the issues First Nations people face on a daily basis and at a grass roots level. If you are wanting to do your part, and you are in a region where you aren't under stay-at-home orders, we recommend getting in touch with organisations such as ANTaR, Indigenous Social Justice Association and The National Justice Project among many others.