2018 National NAIDOC Theme

2018 National NAIDOC Theme: Because of her, we can!

NAIDOC Week 2018 will celebrate the invaluable contributions that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have made – and continue to make - to our communities, our families, our rich history and to our nation.

Under the theme - Because of her, we can! - NAIDOC Week 2018 will be held nationally from Sunday 8 July and continue through to Sunday 15 July.

As pillars of our society, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have played – and continue to play - active and significant roles at the community, local, state and national levels.

As leaders, trailblazers, politicians, activists and social change advocates, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women fought and continue to fight, for justice, equal rights, our rights to country, for law and justice, access to education, employment and to maintain and celebrate our culture, language, music and art.

They continue to influence as doctors, lawyers, teachers, electricians, chefs, nurses, architects, rangers, emergency and defence personnel, writers, volunteers, chief executive officers, actors, singer songwriters, journalists, entrepreneurs, media personalities, board members, accountants, academics, sporting icons and Olympians, the list goes on.

They are our mothers, our elders, our grandmothers, our aunties, our sisters and our daughters.

Sadly, Indigenous women’s role in our cultural, social and political survival has often been invisible, unsung or diminished.

For at least 65,000 years, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have carried our dreaming stories, songlines, languages and knowledge that have kept our culture strong and enriched us as the oldest continuing culture on the planet.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women were there at first contact.

They were there at the Torres Strait Pearlers strike in 1936, the Day of Mourning in 1938, the 1939 Cummeragunja Walk-Off, at the 1946 Pilbara pastoral workers' strike, the 1965 Freedom Rides, the Wave Hill walk off in 1966, on the front line of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in 1972 and at the drafting of the Uluru Statement.

They have marched, protested and spoken at demonstrations and national gatherings for the proper recognition of our rights and calling for national reform and justice.

Our women were heavily involved in the campaign for the 1967 Referendum and also put up their hands to represent their people at the establishment of national advocacy and representative bodies from the National Aboriginal Congress (NAC) to ATSIC to Land Councils and onto the National Congress for Australia’s First Peoples.

They often did so while caring for our families, maintaining our homes and breaking down cultural and institutionalised barriers and gender stereotypes.

Our women did so because they demanded a better life, greater opportunities and - in many cases equal rights - for our children, our families and our people.

They were pioneering women like Barangaroo, Truganini, Gladys Elphick, Fannie Cochrane-Smith, Evelyn Scott, Pearl Gibbs, Oodgeroo Noonuccal, Celuia Mapo Salee, Thancoupie, Justine Saunders, Gladys Nicholls, Flo Kennedy, Essie Coffey, Isabel Coe, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Eleanor Harding, Mum Shirl, Ellie Gaffney and Gladys Tybingoompa.

Today, they are trailblazers like Joyce Clague, Yalmay Yunupingu, Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Nova Peris, Carol Martin, Elizabeth Morgan, Barbara Shaw, Rose Richards, Vonda Malone, Margaret Valadian, Lowitja O’Donoghue, June Oscar, Pat O’Shane, Pat Anderson Jill Milroy, Banduk Marika, Linda Burney and Rosalie Kunoth-Monks – to name but a few.

Their achievements, their voice, their unwavering passion give us strength and have empowered past generations and paved the way for generations to come.

Because of her, we can!

Click here to download the National NAIDOC Logo and other social media resources

Past National NAIDOC themes and host cities:

  • 2017 Our Languages Matter (Cairns)

  • 2016 Songlines: The living narrative of our nation (Darwin)

  • 2015 We all Stand on Sacred Ground: Learn Respect & Celebrate (Adelaide)

  • 2014 Serving Country: Centenary & Beyond (Gold Coast)

  • 2013 We value the vision: Yirrkala Bark Petitions 1963 (Perth)

  • 2012 Spirit of the Tent Embassy: 40 years on (Hobart)

  • 2011 Change: the next step is ours (Sydney)

  • 2010 Unsung Heroes – Closing the Gap by Leading Their Way (Melbourne)

  • 2009 Honouring Our Elders, Nurturing Our Youth (Brisbane)

  • 2008 Advance Australia Fair? (Canberra)

  • 2007 50 Years: Looking Forward, Looking Blak (Darwin)

  • 2006 Respect the Past-Believe in the Future (Cairns)

  • 2005 Our Future Begins with Solidarity (Adelaide)

  • 2004 Self-determination-Our Community-Our Future-Our Responsibility (Perth)

  • 2003 Our Children Our Future (Hobart)

  • 2002 Recognition, Rights and Reform (Sydney)

  • 2001 Treaty-Let’s Get it Right (Melbourne)

  • 2000 Building Pride in Our Communities (Townsville)

  • 1999 Respect (Alice Springs)

  • 1998 Bringing Them Home (Broome)

  • 1997 Gurindji, Mabo, Wik-Three Strikes for Justice-Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the 1967 Referendum (Brisbane)

  • 1996 Survive-Revive-Come Alive (Adelaide)

  • 1995 Justice Not Tolerance (Perth)

  • 1994 Families Are the Basis of Our Existence-Maintain the Link (Melbourne)

  • 1993 Aboriginal Nations-Owners of the Land Since Time Began-Community is Unity (Darwin)

  • 1992 Maintain the Dreaming-Our Culture is Our Heritage (Canberra)

  • 1991 Community is Unity-Our Future Depends on Us (Sydney)

  • 1990 New Decade-Don’t Destroy, Learn and Enjoy Our Cultural Heritage (Tasmania)

  • 1989 The Party is Over-Let’s Be Together as an Aboriginal Nation (Darwin)

  • 1988 Recognise and Share the Survival of the Oldest Culture in the World (Brisbane)

  • 1987 White Australia Has a Black History (Perth)

  • 1986 Peace-Not For You-Not For Me But For All (Adelaide)

  • 1985 Understanding: It Takes the Two of Us (Melbourne)

  • 1984 Take a Journey of Discovery – To the Land My Mother (Adelaide)

  • 1983 Let’s Talk-We Have Something to Say

  • 1982 Race For Life For a Race

  • 1981 Sacred Sites Aboriginal Rights-Other Australians Have Their Rites

  • 1980 Treat Us to a Treaty on Land Rights

  • 1979 1979 International Year of the Child. What About Our Kids!

  • 1978 Cultural Revival is Survival

  • 1977 Chains or Change

  • 1976 Trucanini Last of her People Born 18?? Died 1876. Buried 1976. Received Her Land Rights at Last

  • 1975 Justice for Urban Aboriginal Children

  • 1974 Self Determination

  • 1973 It’s Time For Mutual Understanding

  • 1972 Advance Australia Where?