Serving Country: Centenary & Beyond

Shaun Gladwell, Aboriginal actor Meyne Wyatt as Black Digger in Army uniform costume Diptych. Winner, Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award 2014. Photo: courtesy of Anna Schwartz Gallery

Shaun Gladwell, Aboriginal actor Meyne Wyatt as Black Digger in Army uniform costume

Diptych. Winner, Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award 2014. Photo: courtesy of Anna Schwartz Gallery and Bega Valley Regional Gallery. Click to see more.

NAIDOC, acronym for National Aboriginal Islander Day Observance Committee, or Day of Commemoration is an annual event which focuses our attention on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander achievements. It is a week-long cultural celebration, rather than a day as the name suggests, and is generally celebrated in the second week of July, this year running from 6-13 July, though local variations do occur.

This year’s theme is Serving Country: Centenary & Beyond, honouring all Aboriginal men and women who have fought in defense of this country.

“From our warriors in the Frontier Wars to our warriors who have served with honour and pride in Australia’s military conflicts and engagements across the globe,” says the NAIDOC website.

“From our warriors in the Frontier Wars to our warriors who have served with honour and pride in Australia’s military conflicts and engagements across the globe,” says the NAIDOC website.

It is a timely reminder of the growing recognition and appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen, tied to the anniversary of World War I in August this year.

In World War I alone, an estimated 500 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women enlisted yet most returned to live as second-class citizens, including being refused entry to ex-servicemen’s clubs.

If you want to participate in NAIDOC Week you can organise or attend an event in your area. For more information on NAIDOC Week and local events visit: www.naidoc.org.au

By Steve Miller, Aboriginal Sector Programs Manager at M&G NSW

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Museums & Galleries of NSW helps museums, galleries and Aboriginal cultural centres of NSW create exciting and inspiring experiences for visitors and strong, thriving local communities. We develop their skills, connect them with others in the industry, provide funding, point visitors their way, and give them access to ground-breaking exhibitions.

Museums & Galleries of NSW is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.

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