• NAIDOC Week 2016 kicks off in Darwin. (NITV)Source: NITV
As NAIDOC Week 2016 gets underway, NITV will be keeping you up-to-date with what's happening around the country. Day two promises to be packed with colourful events, so check in throughout the day to catch the latest news, videos, photos and fun facts.
Ella Archibald-Binge

4 Jul 2016 - 8:31 AM  UPDATED 4 Jul 2016 - 6:18 PM

Update 4.15pm

I'm signing off for today, but will be back tomorrow morning to keep track of all the action during day three. 

In the meantime, you can keep following @NITV on Twitter and Facebook and share your events using #NAIDOC2016. 

Stay tuned for tomorrow!

Update 3.30pm

NITV News presenter Natalie Ahmat caught up with NT Chief Minister Adam Giles in NAIDOC 2016's host city of Darwin earlier today. 

Mr Giles says NAIDOC Week provides a chance for the rest of the country to see that, as First Nations peoples, "we are proud and we are strong". 

'The history of our nation, where we've come from, where we've got to and where we're going is all part of NAIDOC.'

"A lot of times it's celebrating culture, but I think it's really important about celebrating the resilience of our people coming together, growing, thriving and developing as individuals and as communities," he says. 

"The history of our nation, where we've come from, where we've got to and where we're going is all part of NAIDOC."

Speaking from Darwin's flag-raising ceremony as election votes are still being counted, Mr Giles added he "has real concerns for Australia over the next three years", given the "state of the senate".

"If we can't get legislation through, it means that Australia's ankles are going to be tied together, we're not going to be able to drive reform for this country," he told NITV. 


What does NAIDOC Week mean to you? 

NITV asked Darwin community members what NAIDOC Week means to them. Here are some of their responses:

"Recognising and remembering our old people - what they did with the struggles to get where we are today."

"An opportunity to recognise and acknowledge, and celebrate the survival of our culture."

"It's a time that we all come together as one mob, stand together united... We need to promote ourselves and our culture, and be very proud about it."

"A chance for us to share our culture and get together with our mob, but share it with non-Aboriginal people as well. I love bringing along my friends to events so we can show the beautiful things that we have to offer, like our dance and our singing and all that deadly stuff."

Update 2pm

Sydney's premier event in Hyde Park is in full swing, with League Nation Live's Scott Prince enjoying an art workshop with Aunty Gail Mabo.

AFL great Lance Franklin made an appearance to launch the Sydney Swans' second Reconciliation Action Plan, while the entertainment on the main stage is well underway. 

Taking the stage at 2.30pm is 15-year-old Mi-kaisha Masella, whose career has taken off since she made the top 10 on The Voice Kids in 2014. 

LISTEN: Mi-kaisha Masella's new single Tell Me Why

The Dharambul and Tongan singer spoke to NITV about what NAIDOC week means to her. 

"NAIDOC is my favourite time of year because I get to stand proud of who I am and I believe this year is especially exciting, because the theme is Songlines, meaning the sharing of stories and music! This means so much to me as a singer/song-writer, giving me the opportunity to share my original music with the Indigenous community." 

Update 1.15pm

A bit of a flashback to the history of NAIDOC Week now...

The event got its roots from a 1920s movement by Aboriginal rights groups, who boycotted Australia Day (26 January) in protest against the status and treatment of Indigenous Australians.

The scope and date of the event has changed in the decades that followed, as illustrated by this timeline.

Throughout the week, I'll be digging through the archives to share a NAIDOC Week poster from a different decade each day. The below poster dates back to 1980, when the acronym was still NADOC (Torres Strait Islanders weren't included in the name until 1989). 

Update 12pm

Exciting news - #NAIDOC2016 is trending number one nationally on Twitter! 

Meanwhile, NITV News presenter Natalie Ahmat is on Larrakia country in Darwin, where NT Chief Minister Adam Giles joined the community for the flag-raising ceremony. 

Just a few of many flags being raised around the country...

Update 11am

Six community organisations across regional New South Wales will receive funding to preserve Aboriginal languages under the state government's Our Languages, Our Way grants, unveiled this morning at NAIDOC celebrations in Parramatta. 

“These grants will support a range of community-driven activities designed to empower and inspire a new generation of speakers," says NSW Aboriginal Affairs Minister Leslie Williams.

Grant recipients include:

    • Giilangyaldhaanygalang (Wiradjuri, Wagga Wagga)- $15,000 
    • Bulari Muurlay Nynggan Aboriginal Corporation (Gumbaynggirr, Coffs Harbour) - $30,000
    • Yarkuwa Indigenous Knowledge Centre (Wamba Wamba/Wemba Wemba, Albury) - $30,000
    • Warra–li Resource Unit Inc (Gamilaraay, Tamworth) - $29,256
    • Glen Innes Local Aboriginal Land Council (Ngoorabul, Northern Tablelands) - $25,000
    • Aboriginal Culture Centre Monaroo Bobberrer Gudu (Thaua/Dhurga, Bega) - $30,000

Also, Nakkiah Lui has shared some interesting thoughts about how NAIDOC Week fails to acknowledge the reality of disadvantage in First Nations communities: 


NAIDOC Week 2016 has officially begun, with plenty happening to kick off day one. There'll be launches and flag-raising ceremonies across the country, with major events in most of the capital cities. 

A few things to keep an eye on:

  • The NSW State Government is set to announce funding for six language preservation projects across the state (more on this soon)
  • NAIDOC in the City runs from 11am - 3pm in Sydney's Hyde Park, featuring music, dance, art, storytelling and sporting workshops
  • Also in Sydney, the Museum of Contemporary Art will hold free lunchtime screenings of films by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander filmmakers from 12.30 - 2pm
  • A new Aboriginal Cultural App will be launched at 3pm in Fremantle, WA
  • Canberra's National Museum of Australia will give free guided tours of its First Australians Gallery at 3pm each day this week
  • NITV News presenter Natalie Ahmat will be in Darwin all week covering everything NAIDOC-related. Stay tuned to Nat's Twitter feed @nat_ahmat to see what she's up to

To find more events in your community, click here

But before things get underway, here's some background about NAIDOC Week. 

What is NAIDOC Week? 

NAIDOC stands for National Aboriginal and Islanders Day Observance Committee. Held each year between the first and second Sundays in July, NAIDOC Week celebrates First Nations culture and heritage, commemorates our history, unifies our communities, and shares our culture with the rest of the nation.

WATCH: Did you know? Facts about NAIDOC Week

Read more about the history of NAIDOC Week here and check out a timeline of how the event has changed since its beginning in 1920. 

This year's theme 

The theme for NAIDOC Week 2016 is Songlines: The Living Narrative of Our Nation. 

For First Nations people, the Dreamtime describes a time when the earth, people and animals were created by our ancestral spiritual beings. They created the rivers, lakes, plants, land formations and living creatures.

Dreaming tracks crisscross Australia and trace the journeys of our ancestral spirits as they created the land, animals and lores. These dreaming tracks are sometimes called ‘Songlines’ as they record the travels of these ancestral spirits who 'sung' the land into life.

WATCH: 'Naji' is a creation story from the Bugarregarre time, the Dreamtime, from the Goolarabooloo people of the West Kimberley Coast.

Watch more short films sharing the songlines of Australia's First Peoples here