National NAIDOC Week
2-9 July 2017 marks National NAIDOC Week, celebrating the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Events and activities are taking place all across Australia in celebration and reflection, embracing the theme “Our Languages Matter”, and we would like to highlight the great work done by our Respecting Our Culture certified operators.
This year's theme "Our Languages Matter”, aims to emphasise and celebrate the unique and essential role that indigenous languages play in cultural identity, linking people to their land and water and in the transmission of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, spirituality and rites, through story and song.
Some 250 distinct Indigenous language groups covered the continent at first (significant) European contact in the late eighteenth century. Most of these languages would have had several dialects, so that the total number of named varieties would have run to many hundreds. Today only around 120 of those languages are still spoken and many are at risk of being lost as Elders pass on.
Australia received 610,800 visitor arrivals in April 2017, an increase of 10.6 per cent compared to the same period of the previous year, with visitors from China and its Asian neighbours leading the charge and with Aboriginal tourism experiences seen as being of highly valued for international visitors. Ecotourism Australia are proud to highlight our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander operators who are use their wealth of knowledge and connection to country to share with visitors and tourists.
During NAIDOC Week, we also want to acknowledge and highlight operators certified through our Respecting Our Culture (ROC) program. ROC Certification encourages the tourism industry to operate in ways that respect and reinforce Indigenous cultural heritage and protocols, and the living cultures of Indigenous communities. Whilst promoting the benefits of leading a sustainable tourism operation, these operators are also protecting cultural authenticity and integrity, developing sound business practices and acknowledging Indigenous peoples’ spiritual connection to the land and water, many are also Indigenous owned and operated.
Focus for guest experiences is also directed at indigenous content, and visitors to a ROC Certified business can be guaranteed to receive an authentic and accurate representation of indigenous culture, where stories and permissions have been sought in consultation with Traditional Owners and indigenous groups, and Aboriginal guides are employed where possible.
Aboriginal Cultural Tours - South Australia
Diverse Travel Australia
Mandingalbay Yidinji Eco Cultural Tours
Mossman Gorge Centre
Mungalla Aboriginal Tours
Northern Territory Indigenous Tours
Rainbow Valley Cultural Tours
Wilpena Pound Resort
For a full list of our ROC Certified operators, located across the country, please visit our Green Travel Guide: CLICK HERE.
Here are a few event ideas of how you can celebrate NAIDOC week:
- hold a morning tea and invite local Elders to come and share their stories
- have a NAIDOC trivia quiz
- hold a bake sale and contribute funs to a local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community organisation
- have a movie night showing an Indigenous movie
- have a bush tucker lunch with delicious Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander foods
To find NAIDOC Week celebrations and activities near you, click here.