NAIDOC week was originally scheduled from 5-12 July but, like so many other events, it has been postponed to 8-15 November 2020 in the interests of safety, due to COVID-19.
Each July, NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities but by Australians from all walks of life. In the interests of public health and safety, the decision has been made to postpone this year’s event.
"This decision was not taken lightly," the NAIDOC web site explains. "We all believe that an escalating COVID-19 (Coronavirus) crisis, as we head into winter, would have disastrous impacts on our mob - especially for our elders and those in our communities with chronic health issues."
The impact of COVID-19 could be disproportionately greater for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people than other Australians. It is known that the infection can be more serious for people who have an underlying chronic condition such as heart disease, kidney disease or cancer. Indigenous health experts James Ward and Jason Agostino say that "around 50% of First Nations People live with one of the major chronic diseases… almost a quarter have two or more."
Normally, Flourish Australia enthusiastically marks NAIDOC week with celebrations across our various services around the country. COVID-19 means that many of our services are currently delivered by phone or via technology such as ZOOM. We will need to wait and see what develops later in the year.
Suspended events include the National NAIDOC Awards in Alice Springs and the 2020 NAIDOC Local Grants Round.
By Warren Heggarty, Panorama Magazine
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