National NAIDOC Committee Media Release – Theme announced for 2013

2013 National NAIDOC Week Theme announced

We value the vision: Yirrkala Bark Petitions 1963

The National NAIDOC Committee encourages people across the country to embrace the 2013 National NAIDOC Theme – We value the vision: Yirrkala Bark Petitions 1963.

This year’s theme was selected by the National NAIDOC Committee to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the presentation of the Yirrkala Bark Petitions to Federal Parliament. In 1963 the Yolngu people of northeast Arnhem Land presented the petition framed by traditional bark paintings to seek recognition of rights to their traditional lands on the Gove Peninsula.

National NAIDOC Committee co-chairs Anne Martin and Benjamin Mitchell said this year’s theme is about valuing the foresight, strength and determination of the Yolngu people who set into motion a long process of legislative and constitutional reforms for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“The petitions are an important part of our history as they were the first traditional documents recognised by the Commonwealth Parliament and helped to shape acknowledgment of Aboriginal people and their land rights,” Ms Martin said.

“They played a key role in advancing changes to the constitution and the introduction of the Native Title Act,” Mr Mitchell said.

NAIDOC Week 2013, from 7–14 July, is an opportunity for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians to join together to recognise the valuable contribution Indigenous people have made to this country.

Indigenous Australians are encouraged to enter the 2013 National NAIDOC Poster Competition and nominate fellow community members to receive National NAIDOC Awards.

Indigenous artists can now start working on entries for the National NAIDOC Poster Competition which reflects this year’s NAIDOC theme.  The winning entry attracts a $5000 cash prize and will feature on the 2013 National NAIDOC poster and be displayed across Australia in workplaces, schools and community organisations.

The Poster Competition closes on Friday 29 March.

Nominating someone for a National NAIDOC Award is a great chance to acknowledge the contributions and talents of outstanding Indigenous individuals.  There are ten categories to choose from including the prestigious Person of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Awards. Winners will be honoured during NAIDOC Week at the National NAIDOC Awards Ceremony and Ball in Perth.

Nominations for the 2013 National NAIDOC Awards close on Friday 26 April.

For entry forms and more information, visit www.naidoc.org.au or talk to your nearest Indigenous Coordination Centre on 1800 079 098.