Our personal and professional journey during NAIDOC Week 2023

  • Integrity Blog

“The personal and professional journey to acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders history, cultures and peoples is the heart of this nation.” 

Sport Integrity Australia acknowledged NAIDOC Week 2023 through several events and activities, both within the agency and outside.

We kicked off our Cultural and Leadership Workshops at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) during NAIDOC Week where staff participated in a smoking ceremony as part of the welcome and were introduced to the work of AIATSIS. 

Staff were given time to examine the growing collection of more than one million items in the AIATSIS library and learned about the preservation of First Nation languages (of which there are more than 250) through the development of dictionaries, before then participating in workshops on building culture and creating leadership opportunities.

“SIA is creating a foundation of mutual respect and acknowledgement through embarking on a culture and leadership experience with local traditional owners and leaders which celebrates and allows everyone to learn and grow from our culture difference,” said Patrick Johnson, the Sport Integrity Australia Culture and Safety Advisor.

Cultural and Leadership Workshops - smoking ceremony
Smoking ceremony at the Cultural and Leadership Workshop

In addition to our culture and leadership activities, a team of enthusiastic footballers participated in the annual NAIDOC Touch Football Competition which attracted around 30 agencies with approximately 450 participants in total. 

Proudly wearing our indigenous artwork, the team took to the field in their new jerseys competing against Australian Signals Directorate, Health and Aged Care, Climate Change, IP Australia, Finance, Attorney General’s Department and Australian Federal Police.

NAIDOC Touch Football Competition
NAIDOC Touch Football Competition

We also participated in the NAIDOC Week Basketball Carnival hosted by Winnunga Warriors Basketball Club, to showcase our work and show support for this important NAIDOC Week celebration of sport.

NAIDOC Week Basketball Carnival
NAIDOC Week Basketball Carnival

NAIDOC Week continued back in the office with The Great Book Swap and Australian bush inspired morning tea, to support the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. Staff brought in their pre-loved reads and “swapped” them for new reads with a gold coin donation to raise money for new culturally relevant books for children in remote communities across the country.

Staff were presented with a guide to NAIDOC Week activities in the local area and encouraged to participate in those activities outside the agency, with more hands-on cultural activities scheduled within the agency in the coming weeks and months.  

Patrick reminds us that: 

“The personal and professional journey to acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders history, cultures and peoples is the heart of this nation.”    

NAIDOC Week celebrations take place every year in Australia in the first week of July each year (Sunday to Sunday) to celebrate and recognise the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, with the 2023 theme being “For Our Elders”.  

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