NAIDOC Week / Bigger, Brighter and Better for 2021

naidoc week douglas shire 2021

Mossman is firing up for NAIDOC Week to be held from Sunday 11 July-Friday 16 July 2021 with a calendar of events celebrating the rich and diverse cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Heal Country, is NAIDOC Week’s theme for 2021, a call for stronger measures to recognise, protect, and maintain all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage.

During local NAIDOC 2021 celebrations next week, the community will come alive with lights, storytelling, community events and more to celebrate the world’s two oldest living cultures.

Headlining the week’s events is the inaugural NAIDOC Gala Awards Night on Friday 16 July, 2021 hosted by the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort in Port Douglas. 

The evening will honour Award winners across 11 categories including the Douglas Lifetime Achievement Award, Deadly Role Model of the Year, Elder of the Year, Deadly Artist of the Year, and non-Indigenous Advocate of The Year.

Other Douglas Shire events on the program include a Church Service at 10am on Sunday morning at Mossman’s CWA Hall, before the week’s events are officially welcomed with an Opening Ceremony at Douglas Shire Council at 9am on Monday morning. 

The NAIDOC March follows the ceremony with everybody encouraged to join in the Heal Country! march from Douglas Shire Council Chambers to George Davis Park. 

Tuesday’s events feature the beloved Baby Show and a Touch Footy Comp at the Mossman Showgrounds.

On Wednesday, George Davis Park will come alive with Cultural Night Markets.

NAIDOC Week is an opportunity to acknowledge the lived experiences, centuries of resilience and ongoing contributions of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

This year, the NAIDOC Week theme – Heal Country! – invites all Australians to embrace First Nations’ cultural knowledge and understanding of Country as part of Australia’s national heritage.

Country that is more than a place—it is inherent to the identity of First Nations peoples.

Heal Country is about the need for historical, political and administrative landscapes to adapt, empower and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, nations and heritage.

The Queensland Government is working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Islander peoples to support local leadership and community aspirations.

Minister for Seniors and Disability Services and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, The Honourable Craig Crawford

“Self-determination and community-led decision making, as part of the reframed relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, are at the heart of Queensland’s Path to Treaty, Meriba Omasker Kaziw Kazipa (Torres Strait Islander Traditional Child Rearing Practice) Act and in our State’s role in the new National Agreement on Closing the Gap.

People attending local events are reminded to follow current COVID guidelines, maintain good hygiene, keep social distancing and stay home if you are feeling sick, particularly to keep Elders and communities healthy.

Locals celebrating at NAIDOC Week celebrations, image via Yalanji
Cultural traditions on display at Mossman NAIDOC Week celebrations, image via Yalanji
Getting deadly, for 2021’s NAIDOC Week celebrations in Mossman, image via Yalanji