NAIDOC Week 2024: a time of pride and reflection

5 July 2024
As NAIDOC Week turns 50, Professor Lisa Jackson Pulver, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Strategy and Services, reflects on past progress and ongoing efforts towards justice and equality.
Photo of Deputy Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Strategy and Services, Professor Lisa Jackson Pulver

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Strategy and Services, Professor Lisa Jackson Pulver

Once again, it is the time of year we come together for NAIDOC Week (7-14 July). This is a week of celebration for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and our communities.

Within our University community, this is an opportunity to celebrate the rich history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, students, Elders and community, and also our campuses, which all sit on unceded Aboriginal land.

This year we reflect on the NAIDOC theme: Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud. The unyielding spirit of our communities invites us to stand in solidarity, with strength of voice to ask others to be with us as we continue to keep that fire burning.

We acknowledge the resilience, knowledges and work of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, activists, advocates and communities who came before us. We also look to the next generation, who serve as a reminder that our work and healing continues. They inspire us with their determination to make lasting impactful change for those who will follow.  

Through the University’s One Sydney, Many People Strategy (OSMP), we have committed to acknowledging and celebrating the rich cultural heritage and contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC Week is not merely a week of festivities but a profound expression of recognition, respect and belonging.

For the University of Sydney, NAIDOC Week represents an opportunity to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of Indigenous cultures among our students, staff and the wider community. The University is committed to creating an inclusive environment where the histories and contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are acknowledged and respected in everything we do. 

This commitment is reflected in OSMP initiatives, including cultural awareness programs, dedicated support services for Indigenous students, and the integration of Indigenous knowledges, concepts and perspectives into the curriculum. 

This is a time to celebrate our students who have contributed to our rich cultural heritage and the significant impact they have had in various fields, including arts, sciences, politics and academia. 

The 50th anniversary of NAIDOC is a milestone that underscores the enduring importance of this celebration. Over the past five decades, NAIDOC has grown into a nationwide event that unites Australians in celebrating Indigenous cultures and advocating for Indigenous rights. This anniversary is a time to reflect on the progress that has been made and to renew commitments to the ongoing work for justice and equality. 

NAIDOC Week is a time of pride and reflection. It provides a space to come together, celebrate cultural heritage and honour our ancestors and Elders. It is a time for uplifting Indigenous voices and celebrating the achievements of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and staff, recognising their contributions to our university community, and promoting the ongoing commitment to Indigenous empowerment. 

There is a wonderful program of NAIDOC Week activities taking place on campus across the week and I look forward to seeing colleagues there, joining us as we celebrate this 50th Anniversary of NAIDOC Week and honour its lasting legacy.

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