Around 100 people marched through the streets of Brisbane to mark the end of NAIDOC Week on Friday, with the march also mixing in with the Black Lives Matter movement.
The week, which is a celebration of the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, was postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic until sometime later this year by the National NAIDOC Committee.
However, a small rally went ahead at Queensland’s parliament house, which also saw a banner hung on the front gates as a reminder to the State Government that the Black Lives Matter movement was still present.
Aboriginal rights activist, Wayne ‘Coco’ Wharton, told NITV News that he did not agree with what NAIDOC Week had become over the years, but said it was still important to remember and recognise the injustices of the past.
“This is the second Friday in July, and the second Friday in July has always been identified as the national Aboriginal Day,” said Mr Wharton.
“It is a day of observance, and the early lads, the early advancement league in New South Wales and right around the country adopted this day, back in 1938 as a day where we come together.
“I’m not saying we don’t deserve to celebrate something, but I’d like to see the federal government gazette this day once and for all as a day that is a national day that both black and white and the Australian people can come together and commemorate.”
The crowd marched from parliament house, through the streets of Brisbane and across the river, where it eventually ended at Musgrave Park, a significant gathering area for Indigenous people.
NAIDOC Week marches are usually held across all of Australia’s capital cities, as well as various regional towns, which see crowds number in the thousands.
The National NAIDOC Committee has promised to keep communities updated on new dates for NAIDOC Week 2020.