For those not in our Sydney office, or creatives following us from other parts of the globe, NAIDOC is a national week held to recognise the survival and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. It’s a week where everyone is invited to learn about and celebrate First Nations history, culture and connection to land.
It is remarkable to live in a country which has one of the oldest, continuous living cultures on the planet. And particularly, for us at DesignStudio Sydney, NAIDOC is a week that reminds us to feel privileged to work on land which has been a place of creativity for over 60,000 years.
Back in the early 1900s, before NAIDOC, Aboriginal rights groups were fighting for change and advocating for their rights. This history of activism is embedded in this year’s theme— ‘Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!’. It’s a theme made even more significant by the fact that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, the longest protest for First Nations land rights in the world. 2022 also marks the 30th anniversary of the Mabo Decision, a landmark ruling from the High Court of Australia in favour of Aboriginal Land Rights.
The ‘Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!’ theme celebrates all the positive changes that have been made since then. It also challenges us to continue this effort to advocate for systemic change and amplify First Nations voices. This bold statement comes through strongly in this year’s poster by Gudanji/Wakaja Artist, Ryhia Dank. The graphic black and white style ties strongly with NAIDOC’s activist roots. It’s a reminder that Australia has a black history and while we have come a long way since NAIDOC began, there is still a way to go.
If you’re based in Australia, take a look at the NAIDOC website to learn more and participate in events across the country. Have a watch of our chat with Ros Moriarty from Balarinji Studio for our Not Not Smiling series last year. Or, if you would like to support organisations doing great things for First Nations communities, you can donate to the Seed Mob, Firesticks Alliance or The Healing Foundation.
I acknowledge the Gadigal Dharug people on whose land I live, work, learn and make my living. I acknowledge their continuing connection to community, land, sea and sky. I acknowledge their history, strength, survival and resilience. I pay my respects to elders past, present and future.