Always Was, Always Will Be recognises that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were Australia’s first explorers, first navigators, first engineers, first farmers, first botanists, first scientists,first diplomats, first astronomers and first artists.NAIDOC Week 2020 acknowledges and celebrates that our nation’s story didn’t begin with documented European contact whether in 1770 with Captain James Cook, or in 1606 with the arrival of the Dutch on the western coast of the Cape York Peninsula. The very first footprints on this continent were those belonging to First Nations people.
NAIDOC 2020 invites all Australians to embrace the true history of this country – a history which dates back thousands of generations. It’s about seeing, hearing and learning the First Nations’ 65,000-plusyear history of this country - which is Australian history.
Source: naidoc.org.au/get-involved/2020-theme and reproduced here with permission.
This year's winning poster - Shape of Land - judged by the National NAIDOC Committee to illustrate the 2020 NAIDOC theme: Always Was Always Will Be.
Source:Illustrator: Tyrown Waigana, Image: NAIDOC
Tyrown Waigana is an artist and designer living in Perth, Western Australia. He has Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage, which can be traced to the Noongar people of south-west Western Australia and Saibai Island in the Torres Strait.
Cover artwork: The Rainbow Serpent came out of the Dreamtime to create this land. It is represented by the snake and it forms the shape of Australia, which symbolises how it created our lands. The colour from the Rainbow Serpent is reflected on to the figure to display our connection to the Rainbow Serpent, thus our connection to Country. The overlapping colours on the outside is the Dreamtime. The figure inside the shape of Australia is a representation of Indigenous Australians showing that this country – since the dawn of time – always was, and always will be Aboriginal land.
A Sydney Aboriginal personality, known as the King of the Blacks in the early days of the colony. He led an amazing life having circumnavigated Australia with Matthew Flinders.
Bungaree was from the Darkinjung people of NSW, and was one of the first officially documented
Aboriginal explorers of Australia.
David Unaipon is featured on the Australian $50 note – perhaps the students have seen his face on
Have the students look up past winners of the ‘Caring for Country’ NAIDOC Awards category. Working in groups, select one recipient per group to research. Present findings on the recipient’s achievements, and why they won. Connect this award to what the students have learnt about how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have been caring for Country for more than 65,000 years and the practices employed to do this.
As a class investigate Lowitja O’Donoghue. What has she dedicated her life to doing? With the information students have found collectively, ask them to produce a resource for other students which tells them about Lowitja O’Donoghue.
In pairs ask students to research a variety of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have worked or are working hard to make change.
Did you know the Mer Islanders (from the Torres Straits) decided they would be the ones to challenge the legal principle of Terra Nullius in the High Court and that Eddie Mabo would be the one to lead that action? The Mabo case ran for 10 years.
Terra Nullius is a Latin term meaning 'empty land' or 'land belonging to no one'.