2023 NAIDOC Week theme announced - For Our Elders
The Sector > Provider > General News > 2023 NAIDOC Week theme announced – For Our Elders

2023 NAIDOC Week theme announced – For Our Elders

by Freya Lucas

November 21, 2022

The theme for NAIDOC Week 2023 has been announced as For Our Elders


NAIDOC Week, to be held between 2 and 9 July 2023, is an important occasion in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) community, with the approved learning frameworks calling on educators to build upon children’s understandings of diversity, specifically Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. 


Ideally, NAIDOC Week is a time for ECEC services to reflect upon their journey in developing their cultural competence and building on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in their programs. However for those services who are just beginning to explore Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander perspectives, NAIDOC week can be the impetus for the start of a cultural competence journey.


It’s also time to celebrate the many who have driven and led change in First Nations communities over generations, acknowledging that they have been the heroes and champions of change, of equal rights and even basic human rights.


“Across every generation, our Elders have played, and continue to play, an important role and hold a prominent place in our communities and families,” the announcement noted. 


“They are cultural knowledge holders, trailblazers, nurturers, advocates, teachers, survivors, leaders, hard workers and our loved ones. Our loved ones who pick us up in our low moments and celebrate us in our high ones. Who cook us a feed to comfort us and pull us into line, when we need them to.”


Elders guide generations, and pave the way for their descendants to take the paths through their own lives. This guidance, in a First Nations context, is not only about advocacy and activism, but also about everyday life.  


“We draw strength from their knowledge and experience, in everything from land management, cultural knowledge to justice and human rights. Across multiple sectors like health, education, the arts, politics and everything in between, they have set the many courses we follow,” the announcement continued. 


“The struggles of our Elders help to move us forward today. The equality we continue to fight for is found in their fight. Their tenacity and strength has carried the survival of our people.”


“It is their influence and through their learnings that we must ensure that when it comes to future decision making for our people, there is nothing about us – without us. We pay our respects to the Elders we’ve lost and to those who continue fighting for us across all our Nations and we pay homage to them.” 


For a reflection on the role of NAIDOC Week in ECEC communities, see here. For resources and ideas to support the respectful inclusion of First Nations cultures in relation to Outcome One of the approved learning frameworks, see here

Download The Sector's new App!

ECEC news, jobs, events and more anytime, anywhere.

Download App on Apple App Store Button Download App on Google Play Store Button