NAIDOC Week 2023: For Our Elders NAIDOC Week 2023: For Our Elders

NAIDOC Week 2023: For Our Elders

It’s NAIDOC Week and this year's theme ‘For Our Elders’ calls on all of us to recognise the important role played by the Elders of our First Nations community.

NAIDOC week kicked off last Friday with the National NAIDOC Week awards ceremony held in Meanjin (Brisbane). The ceremony gave us a chance to celebrate the achievements of Indigenous Australians and honour their culture and heritage. It also allowed us recognise the contributions of First Nations people to our country's history, society, and culture. The line-up of finalists was truly impressive (as always) and an excellent reminder of just how proud we should be (and are) of our nation’s Indigenous population.


Aunty Dr Naomi Mayers OAM

Aunty Dr Naomi Mayers is a leading advocate for Indigenous health, a founding member of The Sapphires, and a proud Wiradjuri elder.

This year's lifetime achievement award was given to Aunty Dr Naomi Mayers OAM, a proud Wiradjuri elder.

Aunty Dr Naomi Mayers OAM is a highly respected figure in Aboriginal affairs and a leading advocate for Indigenous health. She’s also one of the founding members of The Sapphires, leaving the group before their Vietnam trip in protest of the war.

Aunty Dr Naomi has been involved in Indigenous health for over 50 years. She was the founder and CEO of the Aboriginal Medical Service in Redfern, Sydney, and a former chair of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation. Her contributions to Indigenous health have been recognised on both national and international levels. She was the first Indigenous person appointed to the World Health Organization and has been awarded the Order of Australia Medal for her work in the field. She's done so much more and you can read about all of it here.

There were 9 other awards categories and you can see all the winners here. Everyone is inspirational in their own right (as are the nearly 200 nominees) and reinforce why it’s important we pay our respects to elders past, present, and future.

While the awards ceremony is over, there are plenty events and activities being held over the next week for everyone to get involved in.


More to do, More to learn

Naidoc In The City (Naarm + Eora)

Held in Naarm (7th July) and Eora (8th July), both cities will be transformed into a hub for First Nations music, culture, and art. There’ll be a welcome to country ceremony to start the day, and plenty of space to break out with the kids to learn about and appreciate Indigenous culture.

You can find more information about the Naarm event here, and the Eora event here.


Indigenous Plants Tea Making (Eora)

Take the kids to the Botanic Gardens where they (and you) can learn from First Nations educators about the plants used by the local Gadi people. You’ll both get to explore the gardens finding plants that can be used to make tea and other drinks. Plus, grandparents/Elders can come along for free!

You can find more information on this event here.


Basket Weaving (Naarm)

Learn how to make necklaces, earrings, and even baskets at the Koorie Heritage Trust during NAIDOC week. You can take the kids along too with plenty of activities being held throughout the week.

You can find more information on this event here.


And Lots More

There plenty more to do in Naarm (Melbourne) and Eora (Sydney) so make sure you make the most of this NAIDOC week to take in and learn about our rich Indigenous culture. You can find a full list of events on the NAIDOC website here, which you can filter by your state/postcode.



Written by Rahul Mooray