NAIDOC stands for National Aboriginal and Islanders Day Observance Committee.

NAIDOC Week is a celebration of the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 

Held across Australia in July, NAIDOC Week is celebrated not just in Indigenous Australian communities but in government agencies, schools, local councils and workplaces.

The NAIDOC 2021 theme – Heal Country! – calls for all of us to continue to seek greater protections for the lands, waters, sacred sites and cultural heritage of First Nations peoples from exploitation, desecration, and destruction.

During The Huddle’s Autumn School Holiday Program 34 young participants traveled to Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Geelong, Wadawurrung Country, where they spent the morning learning about the rich culture and creating their own boomerangs.

A familiar face at The Huddle, volunteer Citra Diyab joined in the activity, making a powerful statement with her design. 

“My story today with the red dot and black lines around it represent my family and how many people in my family,” Diyab said. 

“I did the black lines that represent BLM (Black Lives Matter).

“I believe it’s very important to understand other people’s culture.

“To understand one another, essentially just because someone’s different, it doesn’t mean we look down on them or just hate them.

“We have to understand what other people believe.

“Having respect for each other is the most important thing.”

North Melbourne Head of Education and Careers, Emma Kearney, said it was an empowering experience. 

“I think it’s really important to learn about Indigenous culture, because we don’t typically learn a whole lot through school,” she said.

“It is so important to learn about the history of our great country and continue to learn and develop as people.”

“It is great to learn about different cultures; diversity is what makes everything so great.”