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Heal Country when AASW Listens to Elders

aboriginal australia social work Jul 08, 2021


It is NAIDOC week and the theme is "Heal Country." What does that mean to you? Watch the video to see what it means to others.

Many white Australians may not even know the origins of NAIDOC:

NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. Its origins can be traced to the emergence of Aboriginal groups in the 1920′s which sought to increase awareness in the wider community of the status and treatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. NAIDOC History

Social Work takes social justice, equity and social determinants seriously. We believe in the rights of all people to have full participation and access to all that citizenship entitles us too. We recognise Indigenous Australians as the First Nations people and that because of the colour of our skin many of us have had different opportunities, choices and life trajectories (white privilege). We openly say, "Sorry," and that we are willing to hear the truth and work to repair the past and build a better future for Indigenous people.

The Australian Association of Social Workers made some funds available to the local branches for NAIDOC celebrations. The North Queensland branch decided to allocate all the funds we had to a single event...because it is on country and this years theme is "Heal Country."

In Napranum, an Aboriginal community near Weipa and on Cape York Peninsula, our funds paid for something that community requested: jumping castles for the children at the NAIDOC Family Fun Day.

In the words of a community elder, the children are regeneration: get it right with the children and country is regenerated and healed. The children are the voice of the future protection for culture, spirituality, land and sea.

Many thanks to the community of Napranum and to the Australian Association of Social Workers for allowing me the privilege of being a part of Healing Country on Country.

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