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NAIDOC Week 2005

News, speeches and media


Speaker: Doug Chester, Acting Secretary, Mr Doug Chester

Official Flag Raising, RG Casey Building Forecourt

Excellencies, distinguished guests, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen.

I acknowledge the Ngunnawal peoples - the traditional custodians of the
land on which we stand today.

On behalf of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, I welcome you
to this flag-raising ceremony to celebrate NAIDOC (National Aborigines and
Islanders Day Observance Committee) Week 2005.

The national theme for this year's NAIDOC Week is "Our future begins
with solidarity".

NAIDOC Week provides a special opportunity each year for Indigenous Australians
to promote their history and culture.

It is also an opportunity for non-Indigenous Australians to learn about,
reflect upon and acknowledge the unique contribution of Australia's Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

We have a proud tradition in the department of commemorating NAIDOC Week.

In our Australian offices and at our overseas posts we have activities which
highlight the contribution of Australia's Indigenous peoples to contemporary

We have an engaging NAIDOC Week program in Canberra.

  • We commence the week with our traditional flag-raising ceremony
    with the accompaniment of the ageless and evocative rhythms of the didgeridoo.
  • We have the Indigenous art and fashion display in the atrium presented
    by the ACT Indigenous Textile Artists Group, in conjunction with
    the Yurauna [yur-ar-na] Centre at the Canberra Institute of Technology. The
    display includes impressive works on silk, poetry capes, fine Indigenous
    decorations on kimonos [plural of 'kimono'] and obis [plural of 'obi',
    the traditional broad waistband wore with a kimono], ceramic and wooden
    pieces. The artists include Renee Smith, Jennifer Martiniello, Ambrose
    Bin-Juda, Lyn Duncan, Lyndy Delian and Richard of the
    creators of these works, is here today.
  • Another special event is the 'Corroboree for Kids' children's
    show in the Currawong Childcare Centre tomorrow (Tuesday), presented by
    Helen Moran of Shades of Brindle.
  • We will also be screeninghave the screening of award winning
    recent Indigenous films in the Gareth Evans Theatre at lunch times from
    Tuesday through to Friday.
  • And the annual NAIDOC Week fund-raising trivia quiz will be held
    on Thursday in Café Brindabella.


The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags will be flown or displayed
at offices throughout DFAT's global network. during NAIDOC Week.


Australian Government delegations and missions overseas are actively promoting
understanding and appreciation of Indigenous Australian contemporary life
and achievements, art and culture through a range of activities and events.

  • Our Port Moresby post will have a reception tomorrow [5 July]
    for the opening of the Kickin' up dust exhibition at the PNG National Museum
    and Gallery.
  • Paris has a range of activities planned to celebrate NAIDOC Week
    2005. The Ambassador will launch the post's new collection of Indigenous
    Australian Resources on 5 July, including an exhibition of paintings and
    photographs from the Ngarinyin [n'rin-gin] people of the Kimberleys. The
    post is also commissioning work by a Ngarinyin artist for use by French
    and Australian children to celebrate this year's NAIDOC theme of Solidarity.
  • To celebrate and raise awareness of NAIDOC weekWeek, the Australian
    High Commission in Ottawa organised a film screeneding of two Australian
    Aboriginal Indigenous Films, "Mimi" and "The Dreaming",
    on 21 June, Canada's National Aboriginal Day, at a First Nations
    cultural centre in Ottawa. serving the Ottawa Canadian Aboriginal community,
    in collaboration with the local First Nations community. Participants
    at the screening enjoyed a sampling menu of Australian Indigenous foods,
    including as emu.
  • As part of promoting Australian Indigenous culture in Taiwan,
    the Australian Commerce and Information Office in Taipei has worked with
    Indigenous Affairs departments of local governments in Taipei and Kaohsiung
    to organize cultural exchange events in celebration of both National Reconciliation
    Week and NAIDOC Week. Events during NAIDOC Week include: free outdoor screenings
    of the film Rabbit Proof Fence; displays of Aboriginal Indigenous art
    work, posters, and handicrafts; information brochures at the event venues;
    and performances by Taiwan Aboriginal performance groups and Taiwan Aboriginal
    film seminars.
  • During NAIDOC Week, our High Commission in Apia has awill display
    of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags, NAIDOC Week posters and
    prints by indigenous Indigenous artists art the foyer of the High
    Commission to support NAIDOC Week.
  • The Hague celebrated celebrates National Reconciliation Week
    and NAIDOC Week with an exhibit of Aboriginal art at the Embassy.
  • The post in Bangkok has organised a display of publications on
    Indigenous Australians at the Central World Plaza, from 3 to 19 July. Today
    the post and university student volunteers are organising activities for
    children, including story-telling, and boomerang painting for 10 to 12
    year olds.
  • and arranged for NAIDOC Week to be publicised on a popular Dutch
    internet site.

To promote Indigenous Australia during NAIDOC Week our Bangkok office has
organised a display of publications on Indigenous Australians at the TK Park
Public Library, Central World Plaza, from 3 to 19 July. Today the post and
university student volunteers are organising activities for children at the
Library, including story-telling under the theme "Our Future begins
with Solidarity", and boomerang painting for 10 to 12 year olds.


The department also has an active Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Program in the Images of Australia Branch. This program is part of
DFAT's mission to project internationally a positive and accurate image of
Australia's rich multicultural society.

The touring Kiripuranji exhibition, featuring
Tiwi Islands contemporary art, and the photographic exhibition Kickin' up
dust, portraying four major Indigenous cultural festivals, have been significant
opportunities to promote Australian Indigenous culture internationally.

The Kiripuranji exhibition is in its final week at the Sursock Museum in
Beirut following a highly successful showing.

The Kickin' up dust exhibition will open in Port Moresby tomorrow evening
(Tuesday 5 July). The Torres Strait Cultural Festival
is one of the four The opening will include a special guest from the Torres
Strait who will speak about the Torres Strait Cultural Festival, one of the
festivals featured in the exhibition, and a special guest from the Torres
Strait will speak at the opening about the unique nature of iIslander culture.
-the sometimes forgotten other indigenous people of Australia.

The Seasons of Kunwinjau exhibition, of
prints and photographs from west Arnhem Land, is on show in the Australian
Pavilion at the World Expo in Aichi in Japan.

These exhibitions have toured the world and been displayed in Beijing, manilaManila,
New Delhi, Seoul, New York, Wellington, Suva, Singapore, Dili, The Hague,
Tel Aviv, Johannesburg, Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile, Vientiane and Copenhagen
to name just a few cities.


DFAT also has talented Indigenous employees representing and promoting Australian
interests in Australia and overseas.

In November 2004Last year, the department re-convened the Indigenous Task
Force and launched its Indigenous Recruitment and Career Development Strategy
2004-07. The strategy aims to ensure that DFAT continues to attract
talented Indigenous Australians and to increase the number of Indigenous
Australians employed in the department through the Indigenous Cadetship cadetship
and Graduate graduate recruitment programs, and lateral recruitment.

In the past four years, fourteen Indigenous Australians have joined DFAT
as part of our graduate trainee schemes or our and Indigenous cadetship programs.

We currently have 35 Indigenous employees now working with DFAT. Twelve
of our Indigenous staff are representing Australia overseas.

We hope to have similar success in the coming years in attracting and retaining
more Indigenous employees.

I thank the department's Indigenous employees for their contribution to
so many areas of our work.

I also thank most warmly those members of the department's Indigenous Employees
Network who have organised this year's NAIDOC Week activities.

I encourage you to take part in all the department's NAIDOC Week events
and, in so doing, help celebrate the vibrancy and enduring influence of our
IndigenousAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures.

Thank you.

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Last Updated: 19 September 2014
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