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Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians across the country are celebrating NAIDOC Week, with around 200 official events scheduled to take place across the country this week (8-15 November).

The theme for this year’s celebrations is “Always Was, Always Will Be,” and national organisers were quick to reiterate the importance of celebrating Indigenous Australian culture in a year where celebrations were postponed from July due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Regardless of when it is celebrated NAIDOC Week is an event of national importance for all Australians,” the National NAIDOC Committee wrote in a statement, adding that the theme recognises the deep roots that Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander peoples have on this land.

“Always Was, Always Will Be recognises that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years.

“We want all Australians to celebrate that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were Australia’s first explorers, first navigators, first engineers, first farmers, first botanists, first scientists, first diplomats, first astronomers and first artists.

“We invite all Australians to take the time to learn, share and participate in these unique celebrations.”

The week’s events include a mix of both virtual and in-person occasions, while national and international media organisations have acknowledged the significance of the week.

Among other initiatives, the National NAIDOC Committee has joined with Netflix, NITV/SBS and ABC to showcase work created by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, while NITV/SBS have also produced the country’s first Aboriginal-led breakfast TV show, titled “Big Mob Brekky,” which is airing throughout this week.

NAIDOC Week emerged in connection to the Day of Mourning, which first took place in 1938. It eventually became a week long event in 1975, designed to acknowledge and celebrate the “history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” according to the national NAIDOC website.

To take part in some of the events or learn more about the week head to the national NAIDOC website for more information.