NAIDOC WEEK 2024: Keep the fire burning!

The Sax Institute is proud to stand with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in celebrating National NAIDOC Week 2024 and remains steadfast in its commitment to achieving a just and healthy future for all Aboriginal people.

Running from Sunday 7 July to Sunday 14 July, NAIDOC Week presents an opportunity for all Australians to learn about First Nations cultures and histories and participate in celebrations at the local level. This year’s theme is “Keep the fire burning! Blak, loud and proud”. It’s a theme that honours the enduring strength and vitality of First Nations culture – with fire as a symbol of connection to Country and to the rich tapestry of traditions that define Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“We honour the flame of the fire, kindling the sparks of pride and unity, igniting a renewed commitment to acknowledging, preserving and sharing the cultural heritage that enriches our nation,” says NAIDOC Committee Co-Chair Aunty Lynette Riley.

“This year’s theme is a clarion call to continued unity and solidarity for all Australians to come together and celebrate.”

NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. It originated from the political activism of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the 1930s, whose efforts eventually led to the many Aboriginal Community Controlled organisations we see today. These include the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services who are now playing a vital leadership role in research to improve Aboriginal health.

Dr Scott Winch, Director of Aboriginal Health at the Sax Institute and a proud Wiradjuri man, says the Institute is strongly committed to working with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services to help facilitate research that will improve the health and wellbeing of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“There are so many great research projects led by Aboriginal communities that are changing the way we do public health research and are making a material difference to the lives and wellbeing of First Nations people,” he says.

Among these is a ground-breaking initiative developed in partnership between the Sax Institute, two NSW Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and leading researchers that is focused on boosting rates of breastfeeding among First Nations women and improving the health and wellbeing of mothers and their babies.

Using decolonisation methods, this innovative project is surfacing new knowledge from First Nations’ understanding of how best to support Aboriginal women to initiate and maintain breastfeeding. It’s just one of many examples of exciting Aboriginal-led work and cultural achievement is changing lives right across Australia.

The NAIDOC website has a great listing of NAIDOC Week events that you can attend or connect with, or you can simply google ‘NAIDOC events near me’

Happy NAIDOC Week 2024!

Find out more about NAIDOC Week here

Learn more about the Sax Institute’s Aboriginal health collaborations here.

The Sax Institute acknowledges the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation as the First Peoples and traditional owners of the land on which our office is located. We pay our respects to Aboriginal Elders past, present and emerging. We recognise the strong cultural connections of all First Peoples to their land and water across Australia.