Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud.

NAIDOC Week 2024 Theme

This year's NAIDOC Week theme is, ‘Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud’. It celebrates the rich history, cultures, identities and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The theme is an invite for us all, to stand in solidarity, amplifying the voices that have been silenced for far too long.

The metaphorical fire represents the enduring strength of Indigenous cultures, connecting their deep ties to Country, to one another, and to the rich tapestry of traditions that define Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

NAIDOC Week History

NAIDOC Week is a time to celebrate and acknowledge the history, culture, and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The roots of NAIDOC Week trace back to 1938, when Aboriginal protesters marched through Sydney, advocating for equal rights and recognition of Indigenous Australians. This Day of Mourning protest marked one of the first major human rights demonstrations globally.

Following this, Yort Yorta man, William Cooper, led a presentation to the Prime Minister, proposing a national policy for Aboriginal people which was, unfortunately, dismissed due to constitutional constraints.

In 1939, Cooper reached out to the National Missionary Council of Australia for support in promoting an annual event to spotlight the challenges faced by many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. From 1940 to 1955, the event was held on the Sunday before Australia Day and known as Aborigines Day.

In 1955, to shift the focus from protest to celebration, Aborigines Day was relocated to the first Sunday in July. Two years later, the National Aborigines Day Observance Committee (NADOC) was established.

By 1974, the NADOC committee consisted entirely of Aboriginal members and by 1975, it was decided that the event should cover a week. In 1991, the committee was renamed to include Torres Strait Islander communities, becoming the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC).

Red Dust Programs

This year's theme inspired many of Red Dust’s Healthy Living Programs. The communities of Nauiyu and Wurrumiyanga have both developed music videos under the theme "Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud", allowing the youth to reflect on their personal connections to culture and community.

Stay tuned as these empowering music videos will soon premiere on our YouTube channel.

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  • NAIDOC Week history sourced from