NAIDOC Week – a celebration for all Australians

Sean Hefferon
NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July 7 – 14 to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians
from all walks of life.

This year’s theme chosen by the National NAIDOC Committee, is “Keep the Fire
Burning! Blak, Loud & Proud”.

The theme honours the enduring strength and vitality of First Nations culture – with fire a symbol of connection to Country, to each other, and to the rich tapestry of traditions that define Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“Keep the Fire Burning” symbolises the enduring spirit and rich traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.

The fire represents our cultural heritage and deep connection to Country: alive, warm, and

“Blak,” a reclaimed spelling of Black, emphasises pride in Indigenous identity.

“Loud and Proud” calls for the celebration of Indigenous culture.

Toodyay Indigenous business Dudja Dreaming is hosting a number of events leading up to NAIDOC week including arts based activities.

The Noongar Trail which is easily accessible by walkers or guided tour provides insights into the cultural heritage of the Noongar people’s connection to this boodja (land).

Gaining insights into the richness of Indigenous culture is a key aspect of

The Noongar Trail includes the Bilya Walk Track which meanders upriver along
the Avon River starting from the Toodyay townsite and is accessible for people of
diverse ages.

Sights along the track include Redbank Pool where one finds the John Masters Bird
Hide opened in 2013.

The Bird Hide features a display of Noongar artwork, Ngulla Moort (our family), explaining the multiple uses of Redbank Pool prior to European settlement.

Some other trails in the Toodyay area with information signs that provide a focus
on Indigenous and European history can be found at Pelham Reserve and along the Avon
towards Nardie Cemetery.

The Toodyay Visitor’s Centre has brochures about the the local walks including a display
map of the Noongar Trail .