Each year NAIDOC comes around and we as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people celebrate our culture our survival and remember those who have fought for us to get the rights we have now. Please don’t forget the laws of this country kept us out of society for years, we were not counted on the census, we were ruled by the government who set protectors and missionaries over us, the local police Sargent has more say in our lives than we did. We had to get permission to move, to buy things to even get married. We had to fight to keep our children with us. The department sent someone around to your house to check if it was clean. We had no rights. We have fought for everything we have. We are still fighting for equality. Sure Stan Grant can talk about the Aboriginal Millionaires and the black middle class but even there we are seeing the great divide between those going up and those who are still battling to make ends meet.
Chelsea Bond can explain this better than I.
We want to share our pride in our Culture and share our pride in our people and in how our people are doing so well. But NAIDOC can be tokenistic when it’s the only time of the year that most media show an interest in us. Sure the media always have stories highlighting the bad or the sad, NAIDOC they show the good. The ABC is full of promotions of how they support NAIDOC week, you will hear Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music and people. But why can’t they do that for the rest of the year? It’s not just the ABC many other radio stations will play Archie Roach, Yothu Yindi, Christine Anu and Jessica Mauboy and speak of how they support “their Indigenous Artitists”.
Some big business and Government Departments have Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander shirts that staff wear for the week, again where is the concern and regard for the rest of the year? Sometimes it’s management that get the shirts, while the poor little black worker doesn’t. They will have a NAIDOC morning tea, usually organised by the Indigenous Staff, because it must be too hard for the non Indigenous staff to organise it. Schools will hold activities but depending on the school not everyone participates. Some schools have the morning tea and only invite the Indigenous students and their family, while some will hold events for the entire school, I like that, I want the entire school involved.
One school this year is banning NAIDOC as a racist activity.
I love going to Musgrave Park on the Friday of NAIDOC, catching up with family and friends, but over the years it’s become bigger, it’snot just about the culture. I must admit I get annoyed kids who have to grab everybag and throw away all the information and just keep the goodies in it. I think read the stuff first. But on this note I must admit I have a real dislike for the white people who go, the allies who take lots of photos put there kids on the rides buy show bags, but don’t sit down with our Elders or others to learn and jut to talk. Come on if you are going to NAIDOC and you don’t have a conversation with an Indigenous person you might as well not come. While I’m on a roll of what I don’t like allies who come and ‘stock up’ on rulers, pens and pencils and all the other stuff. NAIDOC is not the time for you to save yourself a few bucks at our expense, do you not see that as another way of stealing from us, using us.