• The official 2021 NAIDOC theme is 'Heal Country' (Instagram/@naidocweek)Source: Instagram/@naidocweek
NAIDOC 2021's theme is "Heal Country!". So, what does it mean to heal Country?
NITV Staff Writer

24 Jun 2021 - 2:10 PM  UPDATED 6 Jul 2021 - 5:54 PM

Each year, the NAIDOC Committee selects a theme which provides the focus for NAIDOC Week.

They focus on the political, social and cultural issues of the day.

Previous themes include 'Treaty', 'Sacred Sites', 'Cultural Revival is Survival', 'The Tent Embassy', 'Bringing Them Home', the 'Yirrkala Bark Petitions', 'Families', 'White Australia has a Black History' and many more. 

The poster designs for each year’s theme, seen on banners across the country, are selected through a national competition.

The theme for NAIDOC 2021 is "Heal Country!".

The theme calls on all of us to continue the work of our ancestors in caring for and protecting the Country that sustains us. 

It encourages us to keep fighting for greater protections for our lands and waters, our sacred sites and our cultural heritage, defending them from exploitation, desecration, and destruction.

Country is more than just a place; it is inherent to our identity.

When we speak of Country, we speak about an entity, sustaining our lives in every aspect - spiritually, physically, emotionally, socially, and culturally.

NAIDOC 2021 invites the nation to embrace First Nations people's cultural knowledge and understanding of Country as part of Australia's national heritage, and to respect that knowledge. 

For generations we have been calling for stronger measures to recognise, protect, and maintain all aspects of our culture and heritage.

We are still waiting for those robust protections.

The 2021 National NAIDOC Poster, ‘Care for Country’ was designed by Gubbi Gubbi artist Maggie-Jean Douglas.

Using the 2021 NAIDOC Week theme, Heal Country!, as inspiration, ‘Care for Country’ is a bright and vibrant artwork which explores how Country has cared for and healed First Nations people spiritually, physically, emotionally, socially and culturally.

The artwork includes communities, people, animals and bush medicines spread over different landscapes of red dirt, green grass, bush land and coastal areas to tell the story of the many ways Country can and has healed us throughout our lives and journeys.

National NAIDOC Week (4 – 11 July 2021) celebrates the history, cultures and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Join SBS and NITV for a full slate of NAIDOC Week programmingand content, and follow NITV on Facebook and Instagram to be part of the conversation. For more information about NAIDOC Week or this year’s theme, head to the official NAIDOC Week website. Find teacher resources that explore NAIDOC Week and Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander perspectives, histories, and stories with SBS Learn.