NAIDOC 2021 theme announced calling for greater protection to Heal Country

by Freya Lucas

January 21, 2021

The NAIDOC Week 2021 committee has asked all Australians to embrace First Nations’ cultural knowledge and understanding of Country as part of the NAIDOC 2021 theme – Heal Country! 


Central to this year’s theme are calls for every Australian to continue to seek greater protections for our lands, our waters, our sacred sites and our cultural heritage from exploitation, desecration, and destruction.


“Country that is more than a place and inherent to our identity. Country that we speak about like a person, sustaining our lives in every aspect – spiritually, physically, emotionally, socially, and culturally,” the announcement read. 


As well as embracing First Nations’ cultural knowledge and understanding of Country as part of Australia’s national heritage, the theme asks for equal respect of the culture and values of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders as they do the cultures and values of all Australians.


“For generations we have been calling for stronger measures to recognise, protect, and maintain all aspects of our culture and heritage. We are still waiting for those robust protections,” the announcement said.


The 2021 theme also seeks “substantive institutional, structural, and collaborative reform,”  something which “generations of our Elders and communities have been advocating, marching and fighting for”.


“Healing Country means finally resolving many of the outstanding injustices which impact on the lives of our people. It is about hearing and actioning the aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples which are the culmination of generations of consultation and discussions among our nations on a range of issues and grievances.”


This year’s theme acknowledges the “very real opportunity” for reform based on a fundamental change in the relationship Australia has with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


“After 250 years, our children and our future generations deserve better. Heal Country, heal our nation.”


NAIDOC Week will be celebrated from Sunday 4 July to Sunday 11 July 2021.


Each year NAIDOC week grows in stature and depth of celebrations at community, state and national level, and gives an opportunity for all Australians to come together to celebrate the rich history, diverse cultures and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the oldest continuing cultures on the planet.


For further information on the NAIDOC 2021 theme please visit: 2021 theme.