NAIDOC Week 2021 - Heal Country
NAIDOC Week 2021 – Heal Country
This year Tweddle will be observing and celebrating NAIDOC Week (4-11th July 2020). The NAIDOC 2021 week theme – Heal Country, recognises that Country is inherent to identity. For generations, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People have been calling for stronger measures to recognise, protect, and maintain all aspects of Aboriginal culture and heritage for all Australians.
The NAIDOC Week statement reminds us that when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People talk about Country, it is spoken of like a person. Country sustains the lives of First Peoples in every aspect – spiritually, physically, emotionally, socially, and culturally. It is more than a place.
Healing Country means embracing First Nation’s cultural knowledge and understanding of Country as part of Australia’s national heritage. That the culture and values of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders are respected equally to and the cultures and values of all Australians.
Healing Country means finally resolving many of the outstanding injustices which impact on the lives of our people, including the destruction and desecration of sacred lands or ancient sites – some of the oldest human occupation sites on the planet.
In the European settlement of Australia, there were no treaties, no formal settlements, no compacts. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, therefore, did not cede sovereignty. It was taken. To Heal Country, we must properly work towards redressing historical injustice.
While we can’t change history, through telling the truth about our nation’s past we certainly can change the way history is viewed. Healing Country is more than changing a word in our national anthem – it is about the historical, political, and administrative landscapes adapting to successfully empower and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, nations, and heritage.
NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. Its origins can be traced to the emergence of Aboriginal groups in the 1920′s which sought to increase awareness in the wider community of the status and treatment of Indigenous Australians.
Tweddle Reconciliation Journey
Tweddle was honoured to join the reconciliation movement with the launch of our Reflect – Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) endorsed by Reconciliation Australia.
Tweddle is now embarking on our RAP Innovate. Tweddle believes in working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in order to develop an understanding of transgenerational trauma impacts. This is important to us because we believe in delivering inclusive practice and programs in the best interest of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies, children, and families.
As part of Tweddle’s RAP journey, we commissioned Dixon Patten, proud Yorta Yorta and Gunnai man and Director/Graphic Artist at Bayila Creative to illustrate our Tweddle RAP Reflect. The artwork tells the story of Tweddle’s commitment to Reconciliation with the Aboriginal community.
Tweddle’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) program provides a framework that will enable us to support the national reconciliation movement. Tweddle’s vision for reconciliation is that all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies and children in Victoria grow up in a secure environment, supported by strong families with a cultural connection to community. As a health service, we want to play our part in Healing Country.
Tweddle has the privilege to work alongside Aboriginal health workers, mums, dads, babies and toddlers as part of our early parenting support programs.
Tweddle believes in the rights of Aboriginal People to have opportunities for self-determination. Tweddle believes in working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities as we develop an understanding of transgenerational trauma.
This year, two RMIT Health students completed a large Quality Improvement Project to embed Tweddle’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Safety Framework. The project has supported the development of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Continuum Action Plan. This understanding is helping Tweddle to provide and improve access to inclusive practice and programs in the best interest of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies, children and families.
We respect Aboriginal people by supporting them to stay connected to Country, to family, to language and to land.
We acknowledge that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are proud, and as a proud community, they teach us the power of standing up for the rights of their children, rights to their land and their rights to access services.
We look forward to sharing stories, song and activities with families as part of NAIDOC Week. You can read more about NAIDOC Week and get involved here.
This Indigenous artwork was created by Dixon Patten, proud Yorta Yorta and Gunnai man and Director/Graphic Artist at Bayila Creative. The artwork tells the story of Tweddle’s commitment to Reconciliation with the Aboriginal community.
- The ‘U’ shape symbols in the middle depict key people forming the RAP committee and coming together to listen, share and support.
- The ripple patterns represent the positive effect on the broader community that the RAP actions will have.
- The 2 outreached hands represent the ancestors guiding Tweddle’s RAP journey.
- The gum leaves represent being ‘Welcomed to Country’.
- The figures holding hands represent children and families supporting, nurturing and protecting each other.
- The footprints depict Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people walking together in reconciliation.
- The emu and kangaroo tracks are on Australia’s Coat of Arms; chosen because they can’t walk backwards. They are also very paternal and nurture their young.
- The pathways lead to different directions and the circles represent the diverse smaller communities that come together to form our big community.
- The Boomerangs depict returning to cultural values and principles to inform how we learn and teach each other in the spirit of reconciliation.
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