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Home > News > 2019 > June > NAIDOC Week: Voice. Treaty. Truth. Let's work together.

NAIDOC Week: Voice. Treaty. Truth. Let's work together.

NAIDOC Week celebrations are held in July every year across Australia.RAP_Working_Group_web.png

The week is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the history, culture and achievements of First Nations peoples.

This year, NAIDOC week falls during the school holidays and takes place from 7-14 July.

Schools usually hold NAIDOC Week activities in the first week of Term 3 (14-20 July) and IEU Chapters are encouraged to hold NAIDOC events to support this year’s theme: Voice. Treaty. Truth. Let’s work together.

Voice. Treaty. Truth. Let’s work together.

For generations, First Nations people have sought recognition of their unique place in Australian history and society.

Voice, treaty and truth were three key elements to the reforms set out in the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

As this year’s theme, it calls for reforms to secure and underpin rights for First Nations people and ensure that these rights can be exercised.

This will require a First Nations Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Constitution and a Makarrata Commission to supervise treaty processes and truth-telling.

Makarrata is a word from the language of the Yolngu people in Arnhem Land.

It captures the idea of two parties coming together after a struggle and healing the divisions of the past.

It is about acknowledging that something has been done wrong and seeks to make things right.

When Europeans settled in Australia, sovereignty was never ceded by First Nations people. There were no treaties, formal settlements or compacts.

Australia remains one of the few liberal democratic countries who do not have a treaty or other formal acknowledgement with their Indigenous minorities.

Let’s work together

A treaty has always been the primary aspiration of Australia’s First Nations people.

However, to be lasting and effective we need to have a shared understanding of the nature of the dispute, the history, and how we got to where we stand.

The truth of colonisation must be told, heard and acknowledged before there is true reconciliation and healing from both sides.

This is not just the history of our First Nations people – it is the history of all of Australia and we need to own it.

Then we can move forward together to a shared future.

Our union, our voice and our support is important to add to the collective action occurring Australia-wide.

IEU Chapter Action

IEU Chapters have resolved to demonstrate support for First Nations people and communities by marking NAIDOC Week.

Chapters will hold celebratory workplace events such as morning teas or school assemblies for staff and students.

Members who want to take further action should consider joining our union’s Yarning Circle or Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group and contribute to the renewal of our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

To find out more about NAIDOC Week, visit https://www.naidoc.org.au/

To become involved in our union’s RAP, contact Adele Schmidt via aschmidt@qieu.asn.au

Please send photos of your Chapter’s NAIDOC Week celebrations to communications@qieu.asn.au for inclusion on our website, social media and publications.

 Photo: Members of our union's RAP Working Group at a meeting in May. 

Authorised by Terry Burke, Independent Education Union of Australia – Queensland & Northern Territory Branch, Brisbane.