‘We look at it more holistically’: how to heal Country beyond Naidoc Week

‘We look at it more holistically’: how to heal Country beyond Naidoc Week

Naidoc Week, which was born out of the Aboriginal Rights Movement activism, is a week-long national event that celebrates the culture, history, and achievements of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

The ‘National Aborigines (sic) and Islanders Day Celebration Committee’ used to be responsible for the organization of the Naidoc Week. The acronym is now the official name of the event.

The theme of this year’s Naidoc Week was Heal Country. It called for the recognition of, protection of, and maintenance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.

Neville Jetta, a Noongar and AFL player, summarised the theme well when he spoke on it. “We look at this more holistically.” It’s more than just Country. As Indigenous peoples, we are a part of the Country.”

Here are some ways to stay in touch with the theme Heal Country.

Finding Our Heart
Thomas Mayor, a Torres Strait Islander, wrote Finding Our Heart to show young readers the importance of understanding our nation’s history so we can all share a common future.

Fire Country by Victor Steffensen
Fire Country, written by Victor Steffensen, a Tagalaka fire practitioner and Tagalaka native, explores the ways in which the revival of Indigenous Fire Practices could help restore our nation to all its peoples.

Frontier War Stories
This podcast, hosted by Gamilaraay man Boe Spearim and Kooma Boe Spearim, is dedicated to the truth-telling of a side of Australia that has been left out of history books.

Sea Country
Sea Country, written by Pairebeenne Trawlwoolway Woman Aunty Patsy Cameron, is an excellent choice for young readers who love to play outside. Sea Country shares stories about fishing, collecting shells, watching the moon (mutton bird) fly home, and picking wild cherries in Lutruwita, Tasmania.

Ngangkari, Traditional Healers in the Central Desert
Ngangkari is the name of the healers who are responsible for the healing of Ngaanyatjarra and the Pitjantjatjara, as well as the Yankunytjatjara people. This book, through stories, photographs, and artwork, provides a glimpse into the wisdom, history, and knowledge of Ngangkari.

Explore the World with Us

Garramilla (Darwin)

Pudakul Aboriginal Cultural Tours No one knows Croc country better than the traditional custodians. Pudakul Aboriginal Cultural Tours is an Indigenous-owned business that offers experiences that showcase everything from ancient rock artwork to the abundant wetlands of the region. The tours provide the chance to learn from local Aboriginals about their customs, cultures, and bushlife.

Meanjin (Brisbane)

BlackCard Culture Tours Explore Aboriginal history, art, and native foods of Meanjin on a guided tour. You can visit local art galleries and public art sites or take a bush food path in the city.

Eora Nation (Sydney)

Barangaroo Culture Tours After the lockdown, take a cultural tour to learn more about the Eora Nation’s history, culture, and practices. The six-hectare headland has the most diverse native flora of Sydney.

Australia’s First Nations people need healing – of their families, lands, and water.

Ngunnawal Country and Ngambri Country

Aboriginal Art Gallery A visit to the National Gallery of Australia is a wonderful opportunity to discover the diverse art practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. The collection contains shields, photographs, paintings, beadwork, and larrikin memorial poles.

Kulin Nation (Melbourne)

Aboriginal Heritage Walk For those who live in the city, a guided tour of the Royal Botanic Gardens offers an opportunity to discover Aboriginal plant uses, customs, and connections to the Country. After the walk, you can pick up local plants at the Gardens’ store and restore habitats in your backyard. Look to Gundungurra, a community that is doing this at a larger scale, for inspiration.

Kaurna Country (Adelaide)

Living Kaurna Cultural Centre The Living Kaurna Cultural Centre offers a variety of cultural workshops, tours, and events. These include weaving workshops and guided tours of the Warriparinga region. The interpretive signs will help you learn more about the culture and environment of the Warriparinga Wetlands. You can also walk or ride a bike through them.

Lutruwita (Tasmania)

Wukalina Walk: A four-day guided walk to learn about the Country and its culture, food, traditions, practices, and history.


This City Is Whadjuk Country. Please take a tour of Boorloo and learn more about its history.


Firesticks Alliance Indigenous Corporation
Firesticks, an Indigenous-led organization that promotes learning about fire and land use with the aim of revitalizing the use of cultural burns, facilitates artartisticarning paths.

Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation
Kinchela Boys’ Home offers support to survivors and their families as well as referrals for other New South Wales stolen generation survivors.

Our Islands are Home
Zenadth Kes, the Torres Strait Islands, is at the forefront of climate change. Our Islands Our Home supports Torres Strait 8 as they take the case to the United Nations against the federal government for its inaction regarding climate change.

Seed Mob
Seed Mob, a network of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, and Australian Youth Climate Coalition youths, is building a climate justice movement.

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