The 2023 National NAIDOC Week will be celebrated throughout the country from next Sunday under the theme “For Our Elders”.
Across every generation, Elders have played, and continue to play, an important role and hold a prominent place in First Nation communities and families.
They are cultural knowledge holders, trailblazers, nurturers, advocates, teachers, survivors, leaders, hard workers and our loved ones.
These Elders picked up their community in the low moments and celebrated with them in the high ones.
They have guided generations and paved the way for their people to take the paths they can take today.
They are recognised in these words of their children:
“Guidance, not only through generations of advocacy and activism, but in everyday life and how to place ourselves in the world.
We draw strength from their knowledge and experience, in everything from land management, cultural knowledge to justice and human rights. Across multiple sectors like health, education, the arts, politics and everything in between, they have set the many courses we follow.
The struggles of our Elders help to move us forward today.
The equality we continue to fight for is found in their fight. Their tenacity and strength have carried the survival of our people.
It is their influence and through their learnings that we must ensure that when it comes to future decision making for our people, there is nothing about us – without us.
We pay our respects to the Elders we’ve lost and to those who continue fighting for us across all our Nations and we pay homage to them.”