Keeping language alive is important for Indigneous communities – this is why ‘Our Languages Matter’ was choosen as the theme for NAIDOC this year.
NAIDOC, which stands for National Aboriginal and Islanders Day of Observance Committee, is celebrated annually during the first full week of July.
It’s a week when we come together to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements and recognise the contributions that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make to our country. AFLSSQ staff go out into communties across Southern Queensland during NAIDOC week (and all weeks of the year) to support communities.
An example of some of the wonderful work elders are engaged in keeping language alive and strong in our communities is from St George where young people are learning language through dance and song. Here you can watch the Emu dance using Gamilaaray language, with song-language teacher Winanga-li Gii Paul Spearim and stick-rhythm musician Dhinawan Daniel Kinchela.
When the National NAIDOC Committee announced the 2017 National NAIDOC theme – Our Languages Matter they said,
The 2017 theme aims to celebrate the essential role that Indigenous languages play in both cultural identity, linking people to their land and water, and in the transmission of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, spirituality and rites, through story and song.
And we would like to congratulate Wiradjuri woman, Joanne Cassady on her winning poster design.