NAIDOC Week 2015
The St Vincent de Paul Society National Council of Australia respectfully supports national celebrations to mark NAIDOC Week (July 5 to 12) and pays tribute to the collective dreaming, resistance and hope of the oldest continuing culture on the planet.
This year’s theme, ‘We all Stand on Sacred Ground: Learn, Respect and Celebrate’, serves to remind us all of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) peoples’ strong spiritual and cultural connection to land and sea. It also marks the anniversary of the ‘Handback’ of Uluru, one of these sacred sites, to its traditional owners on 26 October 30 years ago.
Chief Executive, Dr John Falzon said: “NAIDOC Week is a time for reflection as well as celebration; reflection on the reality of colonisation; reflection on continuing injustice against the First Peoples; reflection on the fact that there are places all over Australia where the Country is calling out to us, where the Old People of the Country are calling out to us, where the hidden histories are calling out to us … reminding us that another kind of world is possible.
“The St Vincent de Paul Society shares a vision of an Australia in which the First Peoples’ perspectives, languages, philosophies and cultures penetrate the marrow of our institutions, our organisations, our communities and the lives of all Australians. But we also long for the lightning flash of social change to address inequalities and disempowering policies.”
National President of the St Vincent de Paul Society, Mr Graham West, said the Society warmly supports recognition of the First Australians in the Constitution, our founding document of law and government.
“While the movement for Constitutional Recognition will not erase injustice, it is represents a significant step in our national journey towards recognising truth, seeking justice and paying respect to the First Peoples of Australia.
“The consultations that have taken place between the Government and Indigenous leaders this week must continue, not just when it comes to the Recognition campaign but on all inequalities impacting the daily lives of ATSI people, including the unconscionably high levels of incarceration and social exclusion.”
To find out more about NAIDOC Week go to www.naidoc.org.au. Visit www.recognise.org.au for more information about the campaign for recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People in the Constitution.