NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July, to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life. The week is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and to support your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

Due to the impacts and uncertainty from the escalating COVID-19 pandemic across our communities and cities, we will be hosting our NAIDOC discussion online.

Healing Country

This year, the NAIDOC Week theme was “Heal Country, heal our nation.”

While the global pandemic has infringed upon many freedoms, this is not new to Indigenous peoples across Australia. The deprivation of freedoms has been occurring for far too long, and our ability to care for Country has been denied.

Our lands will continue to burn from bushfires, droughts will continue to destroy our livelihoods, without using traditional practices that have protected this country for centuries.

NAIDOC Week 2021 Event

We welcomed the Monash community join us for our NAIDOC Week online discussion, featuring Caroline Kell, Founder and Director at Blak Wattle Coaching & Consulting and host of ‘Yarning Up’ podcast. She uses the power of storytelling to help individuals and organisations connect and inspire change. Caroline is a proud Mbarbrum woman descending from the rainforest, born and raised in Naarm (Melbourne).

Watch our event recording for a thought provoking look at embracing First Nation's cultural knowledge and understanding of Country, and providing greater management, involvement, and empowerment by Indigenous peoples over country.

About Caroline Kell

Caroline is a proud descendant of the Mbarbrum (Bar-brum) peoples. A sovereign nation, West of the Atherton Tableland Regions in Far North Queensland. She was born and raised on Kulin Nations however – with her single mum and 4 siblings in social housing in Preston, later Regional Victoria. Caroline is the Founder and Director of Blak Wattle Consulting. A purpose driven consulting and coaching agency; on a mission to help the next wave of Indigenous leaders and thinkers. Caroline's very own hardships have fulled her deep passion to rewrite historical wrongs. To see improved outcomes in Aboriginal health, social emotional well-being, economic and political opportunities for all Aboriginal Communities. She majored in Counselling and possesses a Bachelor in Social Science. Prior to launching Blak Wattle Consulting, she had an extensive leadership career spanning across the therapeutic, community health and government sectors. She played a key role in Treaty discussions in Australia. Played an integral role during the COVID-19 response, and recently oversaw the development of Balit Durn Durn, the Victorian Aboriginal Community Control (VACCHO) report to the Mental Health Royal Commission.

Watch last year’s panel discussion

Held on Friday 10 July 2020, this panel discussion featured Uncle Bobby Nicholls, Aunty Zeta Briggs Thomson and Caroline Kell. The theme was “Always Was. Always will be".

Monash NAIDOC Week artwork: Lead the way - by Jamil Tye.