5 Ways to Celebrate With NAIDOC Week Classroom Activities


Written by Cassie (Teach Starter)

NAIDOC Week is an important part of Australia’s social, cultural and educational calendars. Held in July every year, NAIDOC Week celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. A wide range of activities and events are held all across the nation, in schools, workplaces and communities. The theme of NAIDOC Week changes each year, bringing focus and awareness to different aspects of Indigenous Australian experiences. In addition to your school’s celebrations, here are some great NAIDOC Week classroom activities you can do with your students.

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(1) Activities Exploring the 2018 NAIDOC Week Theme

The NAIDOC Week theme for 2018 is “Because of Her, We Can!” which brings visibility to and celebrates the active and significant roles that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have played, and continue to play, at the community, local, state and national levels.

NAIDOC Week 2018 Because of Her, We Can!

The 2018 National NAIDOC Poster Design

Show your class the winning 2018 National NAIDOC Poster “tarmunggie Woman”, designed by Cheryl Moggs, a Bigambul woman from Goondiwindi.

2018 National NAIDOC Poster

Here is the 2018 National NAIDOC Poster. Find out all about Bigambul woman and artist Cheryl Moggs’ inspiration on the NAIDOC Week website.

This amazing artwork captures so many important ideas, thoughts and feelings through its intricate design and symbolism. Read about Cheryl’s inspiration on the NAIDOC Week’s About the Artwork: ‘tarmunggie Woman webpage.

For lesson activity ideas download the NAIDOC Teacher Resources 2018 Poster Design PDF.

‘Because of Her, We Can!’ National Portrait Gallery Virtual Excursion

Between Wednesday 27th June and Wednesday 4th July, you and your students can attend a virtual excursion to the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra. Run by the Gallery’s experienced Learning Facilitators, your students can ‘meet’ some of the significant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in the collection.

Check out the Virtual Excursion Events Page on the NAIDOC Week website for more details.

Exploring NAIDOC Week Theme Poster Design Activity

Exploring NAIDOC Week Theme activity and worksheets

Within our free NAIDOC Week Teaching Resource Pack, is an ‘Exploring the NAIDOC Week Theme’ activity. This printable teaching resource works beautifully as a means to consolidate student understanding of the 2018 NAIDOC Week theme after exploring the winning 2018 NAIDOC Week poster design.

(2) Learn About Inspirational Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women

Expose your students to the stories of inspirational Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

NAIDOC Week Award Winners

On Friday 13th July the 2018 National NAIDOC Week Awards will be held in Sydney. After this, you can jump onto the NAIDOC Week website to view the winner profiles.

The depth and breadth of categories, and the profiles of past winners, provide a great springboard for students to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have made a significant contribution to improve the lives of Indigenous people in their communities and beyond, to promote Indigenous issues in the wider community, or have shown in their chosen field.

Brooke Boney Profile and Significant Indigenous Australians Inquiry Task

This inquiry research task enables students to explore and celebrate the life of a significant Indigenous Australians. Students will write a biography about an Indigenous Australian, of their choice, who has made a significant contribution to their field. Students could use this inquiry task, and access the database of winner profiles on the NAIDOC Week website to find an inspirational person to research.

As part of our 2018 International Women’s Day celebrations, we profiled Gamilaroi woman Brooke Boney. This year Brooke is one of the MCs at the National NAIDOC Week Awards!

This Brooke Boney profile poster is free to download and can also be used in conjunction with the Significant Indigenous Australians Inquiry Task.

NAIDOC Week Website Videos

The NAIDOC Week website features news stories about a few inspirational women, including two wonderful video tributes from NAIDOC Committee staff to their own mothers. Watch with your class these videos of Dr Lynette Riley of the Wiradjuri and Gamilaroi Nations and Yuin woman Anne Martin describing the actions their own mothers took to ensure the life success of multiple generations of the family members in their care.

These sorts of stories highlight the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s actions and influence within their own families and communities, as well as illustrating their impact on the continuation of culture, language and kinship.

(3) Create a Class Acknowledgement of Country

If you haven’t already created an Acknowledgement of Country with your class, this is a great time to do so! Participating in an Acknowledgement of Country is an effective way of helping students develop awareness and respect for the ongoing relationship that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (the traditional custodians) have with their land. The practice can be done by anyone, at any time.

How to Create an Acknowledgement of Country

This video from Reconciliation Australia beautifully illustrates how and why you and your students can create a unique Acknowledgement of Country. The words and actions you and your students share can reflect the age of participants, the lands on which you stand and the feelings you all wish to acknowledge. It is definitely worth taking the time to view this video if creating your own Acknowledgement of Country is of interest to you!

Printable Acknowledgement of Country Poster

The simple wording on this free printable Acknowledgement of Country poster can be recited by students each day, and by staff and community members at meetings and events as a way of acknowledging that their activities are taking place on Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander land.

You can also download the editable MS Word version to change the text on the poster and acknowledge the specific language group whose land your school is on.

What is the difference between a Welcome to Country and an Acknowledgement of County?

A Welcome to Country occurs at the beginning of a formal event and can take many forms including singing, dancing, smoking ceremonies or a speech in traditional language or English. A Welcome to Country is delivered by Traditional Owners, or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have been given permission from Traditional Owners, to welcome visitors to their country.

(4) Flag Collage Craft Activity

Both lower and upper years students will enjoy the opportunity to participate in this fun flag collage craft activity. Use this craft activity as a means for students to consolidate their learning about the symbolism of both the Aboriginal flag and Torres Strait Islander flag.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags posters and flag collage craft activity

Students can learn:

  • who designed each flag
  • when the flags were designed
  • what the colours and symbols represent.

 (5) Free NAIDOC Week Classroom Activities Pack

This NAIDOC Week classroom activities pack can be downloaded for free to help support the learning experiences you shape for your students during NAIDOC Week.

NAIDOC Week Free Teaching Resource Pack

The NAIDOC Week Teaching Resource Pack contains a variety of activities, posters and worksheets for you and your students to use.

There are so many wonderful things going on during NAIDOC Week and so many great ways that you and your students can continue to engage in learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures and experiences. For more information about NAIDOC Week and to search for events in your local area, head to the NAIDOC Week website!

You can also check out more of our free teaching resources in our NAIDOC Week Teaching Resource Collection.

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