It’s NAIDOC week here in our homeland of Australia - a special time to celebrate those who have driven and led change in our country and local communities. This year's theme is Get up! Stand up! Show up! A chance to speak up for change and equality for the first nations communities who came before us. As well as a time to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
We are constantly looking for ways in which we can give back, especially in areas close to our heart like health and wellbeing, you could say we know a thing or two about that. Which is why we choose to partner with Project Give Back and HealthLab, who venture out into rural Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory to give health education and supplies. The program is designed to increase health literacy among youth and among teaching staff at schools. The program is strength-based, and its delivery focuses on encouraging healthy behaviours and good hygiene.
We have a deep appreciation of NAIDOC week and thought with Nutra Organics being nestled in the heart of Murwillumbah, we’d highlight some amazing local people, past and present, as well as local pop-ups, initiatives and ways you can stand up and give back this NAIDOC week.
We couldn’t pass up this opportunity to talk about a Murwillumbah born and bred Aboriginal woman and rights activist from the 1950s to the 1980s by the name of Faith Bandler. In 1970 Faith was celebrated as a public figure for standing up against racist oppression in Australia. She was someone who provided an example of courage to stand up and overcome racism while encouraging others to stand up for the cause of social justice, human rights and equal opportunity for all Australians regardless of background, class and colour. Honestly, we could write an entire essay about Faith and the incredible Indiginous women who paved the way. However, with our lack of space in a blog, we’ll highlight some of our local lady Faith’s inspiring achievements instead.
Faith was awarded the Human Rights Medal from the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission in 1997. In 2000, Nelson Mandela (wow right!) presented Faith on behalf of the Sydney Peace Foundation, with a 'Meritorious Award in Honour and Gratitude for a Life of Courageous Advocacy for Justice and for Indigenous People, for Human Rights, for Love and Reconciliation'. In 2009, Faith was made a Companion of the Order of Australia, Australia's highest honour by Governor General Quentin Bryce. Faith was also an author of four books, but mostly, she was known for her work and leadership in the campaign for the 1967 referendum.
Our second local highlight goes to the incredible artists and storytellers local to our Tweed Coast region. You can find some of these Artists' work on display over at Tropical Fruit World, who have created a pop up installation highlighting some of our local indigenous community. Just one example to get you excited to pop in and celebrate these locals is Artist Jason Smith.
Jason is a local Murwillmbah artist whose work is inspired by original storytellers of Australia, such as ancient rock art, desert painters, aboriginal dance, language and song. Jason has done his own studies and travels which developed a passion to connect with his family heritage. Jason integrates storytelling into his artworks, inspired by nature and through life events and experiences.
To see what’s happening in your local area or how you can get involved, head over to NAIDOC’s website. Let’s Get up! Stand up! Show up! And continue to celebrate our rich culture and heritage of our homeland Australia.
Image credit via marleyjo_morgan