Aboriginal Heritage and Culture is associated with the awareness and lore, traditions and people, things and regions that are precious, meaningful and related to the identity of First Nation communities and the country.

The culture and heritage are significant pillars of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities because they make the people who they are. These two aspects are what shape their identity and for most it is the live spirituality fundamental. The culture and heritage is also crucial for the preservation of history and teaching future generations.

Since tens of thousands of years the indigenous people have survived and maintained authenticity, culture and heritage are very important to them. they ensure the new generations are taught the traditions and practices

The Guringai Festivals and other like are excellent mediums for generating awareness, raising voices of the native Australians and teach other people about the ways of the First Nation people.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage is extremely vital and it is a significant part of the Australian heritage. Native Australians have always been important because they have occupied the lands of the continent as far back as 60,000 years. Therefore, the historical importance of and the present significance of indigenous cultures and heritage cannot be denied or disregarded. It is necessary for making and maintaining unceasing connection with the people and the country.

Places Of Cultural Importance

There are many areas and places that are of great meaning and importance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. These places are

  • Where Dreaming stories depict the laws of the land and depict the ways people should behave.
  • Native Australians associate with their spirituality
  • Where other communities and cultures come in contact with First Nation people
  • Important for more contemporary uses.

Many of these places are recognized as Indigenous heritage sites and the Australian government does its best to protect them and uphold laws designed to preserve the lands where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander reside and relate to. The laws by the government to protect the culture and heritage of the native Australians are mentioned below.

  • The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act
  • the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984
  • The Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986.

Indigenous Cultural Festivals In Sydney

In addition to the Guringai Festival there are many other events conducted in Sydney that highlight and celebrate the culture and heritage of the Native Australians. Here is a list of other festivals that happen all year round.

  • Aboriginal Cultural Showcase
  • Boomerang Festival
  • Corroboree Sydney
  • Dance Rites
  • Gai-mariagal Festival
  • Homeground
  • Indigenous Market Day
  • Munga Bareena Ngan-Girra Festival
  • Red Ochre Music Festival
  • Saltwater Freshwater Festival
  • Two Fires
  • Yaamma Festival
  • Yabun Festival
  • Yellamundie National First Peoples Playwriting Festival

Northern Sydney’s Occupants Of The Land

Before the Europeans arrived at Northern regions of Sydney, NSW, the various aboriginal clans lived there for thousands of years. Here are some things everyone should know about the occupants of the land in Northern Sydney. Have a look

  • The people of the different clans mainly resides by the foreshores of the harbour
  • For nutrition the people fished in the water bodies and hunted in hinterlands. They also grew and harvested the food from the bushes around the foreshores.
  • The natives living in these regions generally didn’t travel much because the resources were abundant and the trade established with other tribal communities was strong.
  • Most native Australian clans developed extensive rituals, languages, customs, laws, connections and spirituality during the times they were not working for survivals. Usually, when you move throughout the country as per the seasons, it requires only 4-5 hours of work a day for survival and living a comfortable life.

If you are interested in knowing more about the diverse cultures and heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, then connect with us and do consider attending the events hosted during the eight week long Guringai Festival.

Upholding the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s culture, heritage and traditions is important. Plus, it is crucial to raise awareness regarding the various native communities that need support. Therefore, during NAIDOCWeek, individuals, groups and organisations host performances, workshops, exhibitions showcasing native art, films and talks or discussions and much more. Whether you want to conduct an event or be part of one, you can get the required approval.

Everything that happens during the festival is for acknowledging the traditional owners of the land, the people living in these areas now and the elders of the past and present. Anyone can attend the festival and mostly families, researchers, students, local community members and others visit.

Reasons why the festival and others like it are important are mentioned as follows.

Facilitates change and development which is good for bringing people and groups together. Helps raise the voice of people who usually don’t get a medium or chances Helps with development of reconciliation action plans The NAIDOCWeekis great for education, training and understanding the indigenous culture It are also wonderful for facilitating well-being programs Such events are excellent for communications, discussions and getting people to talk about important topics, issues and problems It is fantastic mediums for celebrating different heritages, cultures and traditions. Plus, during week, people from different walks of life get an opportunity to have fun and interact freely.

Since the indigenous people faced issues and bad treatment in the past, it was common for them to boycott Australia Day (26 January) and its celebrations before 1920. It was there way of raising awareness and protesting against the imbalance of the status quo and insensitive treatment of First Nation People. But, things changed when the indigenous people discovered that a large number of Australians didn’t know about the boycotts or the problems faced by the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island people. They understood that for their movement to make impact, it was important to be active. If the movement were to make progress, it would need to be active.

Hence many groups and organisations like the Australian Aborigines Progressive Association (AAPA) in 1924 and the Australian Aborigines League (AAL) in 1932 started taking initiatives. Many organisations did abandon their efforts due to bans and harassment. William Cooper, AAL’s founder drafted a petition while struggling to keep the movement going. It was for King George V seeking distinct Aboriginal electorates in Federal Parliament. But, the Australian government didn’t put it through believing that it didn’t meet the constitutional responsibilities.

This year things changed as on the Australia Day a barrage of protestors marched throughout the stress of Sydney, NSW. This protest was followed by an assembly of more than one thousand people. It was among the initial significant rights gatherings across the world and known as the Day of Mourning.This assembly led William Cooper to present the Prime Minister at the time Joseph Lyons with a proposal for an inclusive national policy for indigenous people. It was rejected citing the reason as the Government not having constitutional powers in relation to First Nation people. After the Day of Mourning, among the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people there was a mutual feeling that it should be a regular event.

Thus for the next 15 years, Day of Mourning also known as Aborigines Day was conducted annually. It happened on the Sunday before Australia Day. The time changed and it was decided that the 1955 Aborigines Day would be on the first Sunday of July because more and more people wanted it to not only be a day for protesting but also for celebrating indigenous culture.

From then on, significant First Nation organisations, state and federal governments, and some Christian groups aided in the formation of National Aborigines Day Observance Committee (NADOC). The second Sunday of July also became the remembrance for Aboriginal communities and their culture, heritage and traditions.


The Event From 1991 - Present

The celebrations during the yearly event helped raise awareness and share the culture and heritage of the Aboriginal peoples. It was then that NADOC was grew and incorporated Torres Strait Islander communities and their culture. The committee was renamed as National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC).

The acronym gradually became the name of the week. Since there have been changes in committees and their leadership. Today the week is not organised by the as National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee but NAIDOC the name remains and used as is. Keeping a theme for each year has remained the same and these theme help reflect various issues and events during the celebration.

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