This year’s theme for NAIDOC Week (5-12 July) highlights Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ strong spiritual and cultural connection to land and sea. The theme is an opportunity to pay respects to country; honour those who work tirelessly on preserving land, sea and culture and to share the stories of many sites of significance or sacred places with the nation.
As the oldest continuing culture on the planet, the living culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is intrinsically linked with these sacred places. Sacred places can be geographic feature like a river or lake, a beach, bays, inlets, hills or a mountain ranges or ceremonial grounds, galleries of rock art or engravings or places used for gathering for cultural practices.
Long before European arrival, these places had traditional names – names that now reflect the timeless relationship between the people and the land. Often sacred places are connected with Dreaming stories or tell of the meaning of an area.
This year’s theme was also chosen specifically to highlight and celebrate the anniversary of the ‘Handback’ of Uluru, one of these sacred sites, to its traditional owners on 26 October 30 years ago.
The National NAIDOC Committee encourages all Australians – young and old – to embrace the 2015 National NAIDOC theme. This information has been taken from the NAIDOC website.