Celebrating NAIDOC Week

Samaritans CEO

This week we celebrate NAIDOC Week.  It is a time to be celebrated not only in Indigenous communities but by Australians from all walks of life.  It is an important time to recognise and appreciate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture, achievements and valuable contribution to our country.

The theme for this year’s NAIDOC week is ‘Our Languages Matter’ to mark the importance and richness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.  Before European contact in the late eighteenth century, over 250 distinct Indigenous language groups existed.  However, less than half of those languages are still spoken today.  It is important these languages are preserved as they hold significant value to Australia’s cultural identity and a deep spiritual significance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.   Of the 120 languages still spoken today, some of these are at risk of being lost as Elders pass on.

We can all play a role in observing the importance of restoring and preserving Indigenous languages by participating in NAIDOC Week.   I encourage you to attend an event in your local community, click here to view the NAIDOC calendar.  The preservation and revitalisation of the original languages of our nation is paramount.  Together we can raise awareness to make a difference.