NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life. The week is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and to support your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Due to COVID-19 this year, celebrations had to be postponed but they are here now and Light and Glo would still like to take this time to acknowledge the importance of such an important week in the Indigenous calendar and spread awareness about such an event.
So what exactly is NAIDOC Week and what are it’s origins?
NAIDOC originally stood for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’. This committee was once responsible for organising national activities during NAIDOC Week and its acronym has since become the name of the week itself. From 1940 until 1955, the Day of Mourning was held annually on the Sunday before Australia Day and was known as Aborigines Day. In 1955 Aborigines Day was shifted to the first Sunday in July after it was decided the day should become not simply a protest day but also a celebration of Aboriginal culture. Major Aboriginal organisations, state and federal governments, and a number of church groups all supported the formation of, the National Aborigines Day Observance Committee (NADOC). At the same time, the second Sunday in July became a day of remembrance for Aboriginal people and their heritage.
In 1972, the Department of Aboriginal Affairs was formed, as a major outcome of the 1967 referendum. In 1974, the NADOC committee was composed entirely of Aboriginal members for the first time. The following year, it was decided that the event should cover a week, from the first to second Sunday in July. In 1984, NADOC asked that National Aborigines Day be made a national public holiday, to help celebrate and recognise the rich cultural history that makes Australia unique. While this has not happened, other groups have echoed the call.
Each year, there is a different focus city for the National NAIDOC Awards Ceremony which this year would have been held in Alice Springs. The focus city, National NAIDOC Poster Competition and the NAIDOC Awards recipients are selected by the National NAIDOC Committee.
With a growing awareness of the distinct cultural histories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, NADOC was expanded to recognise Torres Strait Islander people and culture. The committee then became known as the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC). This new name has become the title for the whole week, not just the day. Each year, a theme is chosen to reflect the important issues and events for NAIDOC Week.
This years theme would have been Always Was, Always Will Be. This recognises that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years and that they are spiritually and culturally connected to the country and the first of Australia’s people/
We are spiritually and culturally connected to this country. Always Was, Always Will Be. acknowledges that hundreds of Nations and our cultures covered this continent. All were managing the land - the biggest estate on earth - to sustainably provide for their future. Through ingenious land management systems like fire stick farming we transformed the harshest habitable continent into a land of bounty. NAIDOC Week 2020 acknowledges and celebrates that our nation’s story didn’t begin with documented European contact whether in 1770 or 1606 - with the arrival of the Dutch on the western coast of the Cape York Peninsula.
Here at Light & Glo, we stand behind NAIDOC and their values and act as an ally and do what we can to support and be an ally to the Indigenous community. From getting our beautiful Soul Collection candles registered under the Indigenous Art Code, continually working with our friend and beloved artist Melanie Hava for creating the beautiful artwork upon our current soul collection candles with her gorgeous indigenous artwork that really brings this candle collection to life whose work is influenced by her diverse cultures and by her experiences in the outback, rainforest and reef country.. Our current collection consisting of Sunken Garden, Essence of Australia and Outback Magic all are heavily inspired by scents of the bush and many other Indigenous landscapes, with many of it’s notes closely linked to Aboriginal culture such as eucalyptus etc.
To honour NAIDOC week, Light and Glo Designs is so glad to announce that we have once again teamed up with Melanie to extend our line further! This week you will be able to purchase our three new candles - Marlu Dust, Birra Breeze and Red Earth. Marlu (Kangaroo) Dust is a mix of bergamont, lemon, jasmine, elemi, clover, base of patchouli and musk, while Birra Breeze is a contains refreshing tones of orange, cactus flower, mimosa, amber, cedar and patchouli and Red Earth is well… an earthy concoction of bergamont, hyacinth, white lily, amber and freesia. These three new candles are inspired by billabongs, the Australian earth and it’s treasures with gorgeous works featuring platypuses, kangaroos and lizards by Melanie, we are so excited to launch these candles and during such an important and integral time.
Furthermore, two trio sets will be released. Tidal Pool Driftings will include Birra Breeze, Sunken Garden and Essence of Australia for an aquatic marine adventure through rivers, oceans and seas. Where as Australian Plains will take you right to the heart of Australia, with Marlu Dust and Outback Mate. These trio sets are a great gift for those overseas, a reminder of home, or just to try a few of the scents!
Throughout the week, you’ll be able to see posts on both our Instagram and our Facebook about this new extension of candles, our original and beloved candles and more information and facts on NAIDOC week as we promote the theme and importance of awareness of NAIDOC week as we continue to support and act as the best allies we can to cause of NAIDOC. We encourage you, our tribe to research NAIDOC week yourself and to learn more about this important part of not Australian culture.