Work towards reconciliation – Day by day Prayer


Melbourne: The Indigenous Flag is seen flying through the NAIDOC March. The march marks the beginning of NAIDOC Week, which runs within the first full week of July annually.  (Photograph by Darrian Traynor/Getty Pictures)

NAIDOC Week emerged from the popularity by Indigenous Australians that they had been uncared for and never listened to, and from their willpower to alter issues.

It’s by no means straightforward to see the world from the angle of different individuals. If we’re captivated with a difficulty, we change into impatient with somebody who argues a opposite view. We additionally discover it troublesome to enter the world of people who find themselves imprisoned, mentally in poor health or refugees whom common opinion regards as lower than ourselves. We might have them to bang drums as a way to encourage us to make us see and hearken to them.

That’s the reason the Nationwide Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Week (7-14 July) is so essential. It emerged from the popularity by Indigenous Australians that they had been neither revered nor listened to, and from their willpower to alter issues.


They thought it inappropriate to have a good time Australia Day on the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet, as a result of that was the start of their dispossession. Within the face of appreciable opposition they started to organise. They drew up a petition to ship to King George V to ask for Aboriginal electorates, however the Authorities noticed it as outdoors its constitutional powers to supply them. In 1938 a Congress of Indigenous individuals met in Sydney. Its members marched on Australia Day, which they known as Mourning Day. These had been the origins of NAIDOC.

Australia Day remains to be celebrated on the anniversary of Indigenous expropriation, however NAIDOC week offers a possibility for all Australians to hitch in celebrating the tradition and aspirations and hopes of Indigenous and Torres Strait Islanders.


The theme of NAIDOC Week this yr is ‘Voice, Treaty, Fact. Let’s work collectively.’ These phrases lie on the coronary heart of the Uluru Assertion that represents an Indigenous place reached after lengthy dialogue. It begins with the significance of voice. Indigenous tradition, like all cultures, is constructed round language, on this case many languages. When languages die out cultures are put underneath nice pressure. As a result of Indigenous Australians are the primary Australians with some 60,000 years of take care of nation, the preservation of their voice and languages in schooling and communities issues to all Australians.

Voice can be essential within the sense that Indigenous Australians search an institutional say on the issues that have an effect on their lives. That demand is central to the Uluru Assertion, and is captured by the second phrase of the 2019 Theme: Treaty. To understand its urgency we want suppose solely of the catastrophic results that such interventions by Australian governments as stealing and routinely jailing kids have had on individuals and communities. There will likely be many reliable variations of opinion about what form that voice could take, however its want shouldn’t be doubtful.


To know the current situation of Indigenous Australians and to answer their name we should perceive the previous. Fact is the third phrase of the Theme. Fact embraces the connection between the Indigenous peoples, the primary individuals, and the later individuals who dispossessed them by drive, excluded them from their searching grounds, stole their kids and proceed to jail them out of all proportion to the remainder of the Australian inhabitants. The relationships additionally embody, after all, the later individuals who have befriended and defended the primary Australians, studied their languages and tradition, and sought to construct a extra simply Australia.

These peaceable and enquiring relationships underlie the hope embodied within the NAIDOC theme: Let’s work collectively. Easy and engaging phrases, and are a problem to us all.


Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ is an editorial advisor at Jesuit Communications


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