National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee - 8-15 November 2020

NAIDOC Week celebrations are traditionally held each July across Australia to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

In what has been an extraordinary year, this year’s events were delayed and many will be held virtually.

The theme for NAIDOC week 2020 is Always Was, Always Will Be.

Did you know?

NAIDOC originally stood for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’. This committee was once responsible for organising national activities during NAIDOC Week and its acronym has since become the name of the week itself.


Dialogue with the Author

Dialogue with the Author -
Dr Debbie Bargallie

Presented by

Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research and the Griffith Institute for Educational Research

Monday 9 November

In this inaugural Dialogue with the Author seminar, you will have an opportunity to hear directly from the author and engage in a conversation about the key messages from her book, Unmasking the Racial Contract.

Please respond to indicate your attendance at this online event.


Truth Telling

Through a Lived Experience

Presented by

First People’s Health Uni (FPHU)

Tuesday 10 November, 10 – 11.30 am

Join Professor Sheena Reilly, Pro Vice Chancellor (Health) together with special guest speakers, Professor Cindy Shannon, Pro Vice Chancellor (Indigenous), Dr Clinton Schultz, Assistant Professor, First Peoples Health, Bond University and recently appointed CEO of CATSINaM Professor Roianne West as they share some of their story and experiences.

Please access the event via the following Microsoft Teams link:

First Peoples Health NAIDOC event

First Nations Research Showcase

First Nations Research Showcase

Presented by

Arts Education and Law group

Thursday 12 November, 2 – 3.30 pm

To celebrate NAIDOC week the Griffith Institute for Educational Research and the Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research (GCSCR) will present a showcase of research from three of our newest First Nations academics, appointed as part of AEL’s 'PhD to Level B' pathway for Indigenous academics. Hear from QCA artist Dr Fiona Foley; Director of the Centre of Australian Indigenous Art, Dr Carol McGregor; and criminologist Krystal Lockwood about their research. This event includes a Q&A with the audience and is chaired by Dr Harry van Issum, Indigenous Studies Senior Lecturer from the School of Humanities, Languages & Social Science, and member of GCSCR.

Please respond to indicate your attendance at this online event.

Register to attend First Nations Research Showcase

Indigenous Knowledges Seminar with
Greg Kitson

Presented by

Indigenous Research Unit and Researcher Education and Development

Wednesday 12 November, 10 – 12.00 pm

Researcher Greg Kitson will provide an overview of his dissertation, highlight examples of ICP opportunities and share some learnings from his PhD journey.

Greg's research forms part of an ARC Linkage project: Being 'On Country Off Country'. At the macro-level, his dissertation is about ICP and its rightful development and application as an area of expertise within Australia's urban planning systems. The research is concerned with urban and peri-urban Aboriginal Traditional Owner (TOs) communities with native title rights and interests. The very specific focus is individual and community connections to and relationships with 'Country' according to resident status.

Event details

GUMURRII Trivia night


Presented by

GUMURRII Student Success Unit

Thursday 12 November, 12 – 1.00 pm

Test your knowledge of First Peoples history and culture.

This event is open to the wider Griffith community and winners will be awarded prizes created by Griffith's First Peoples Alumni.

Register to attend GUMURII NAIDOC Trivia

NAIDOC statement

The following is a joint statement from Pro Vice Chancellor (Indigenous) Professor Cindy Shannon and Vice Chancellor and President Professor Carolyn Evans.

Griffith has strong links to the traditional owners of the land upon which our campuses are located. South Bank, Nathan and Mount Gravatt campuses are situated on the land of the Yugarabul, Yuggera, Jagera and Turrbal peoples. Logan is situated on the land of the Yuggera, Turrbal, Yugarabul, Jagera and Yugambeh peoples. The Gold Coast is situated on the land of the Yugambeh/Kombumerri peoples. In NAIDOC Week 2020, Griffith University acknowledges the people who are the traditional custodians of these lands, pays respect to the Elders, past and present, and extends that respect to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The University is proud of its student numbers, with the largest Indigenous-student population of any Queensland university.

We intend to build on this strong history of Indigenous student recruitment, ensuring those who come to Griffith to study are enriched by the experience and leave well equipped to face their chosen careers or areas of interest.

Griffith's Creating a Future for All Strategic Plan 2020-2025, released late last year, also includes a focus on Indigenous representation amongst academic and professional staff.

The Plan further provides a framework for practicing inclusiveness, teaching Indigenous content and cultural competency in our degrees and creating appropriate cultural training for students and staff.

Always Was, Always Will Be

This year’s NAIDOC Week theme, Always Was, Always Will Be, recognises the generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have occupied and cared for this land and seas.

We recognise the unique place of First Peoples in our history and culture and the importance of respecting Indigenous knowledge, culture and talent.

First Peoples are the first teachers, artists, scientists and healers on this land.

In 2020 and beyond, Griffith is committed to maintaining an open dialogue and strengthening its relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and continuing to respect the wisdom of elders.

Each year Griffith traditionally commemorates NAIDOC with a number of campus activities and active participation in the Musgrave Park Family Fun Day.

Unfortunately, due to current COVID-19 restrictions, most physical events have been limited but this does not diminish the importance of NAIDOC.

Where possible virtual events are being held. We would also encourage all staff and students to commemorate the occasion in their own way.

NAIDOC Week 2020 is an opportunity for all to celebrate the diverse cultures, rich history and achievements of First Peoples as the oldest continuous cultures in this nation and the world.

Better Future for All

Acclaimed indigenous author Bruce Pascoe joined noted broadcaster and journalist Kerry O'Brien at Griffith’s A Better Future for All event last month. They took a deep dive into a range of issues including the way Bruce’s award-winning book Dark Emu: Aboriginal Australia and the birth of Agriculture challenges conventional thinking about the First Australians as hunter gatherers.

Remembering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander diggers

This year, Remembrance Day falls in NAIDOC Week, providing a prudent reminder of the many sacrifices made by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander soldiers.

Many thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander diggers have fought for our country from the Boer War onwards and Queensland’s first dedicated war memorial to honour these soldiers is reaching its final stages.

Griffith University has been a key partner in the war memorial project, which will be installed at Brisbane’s ANZAC Square upon completion.

Honouring the service contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians to the nation is a vital part of the reconciliation and building a memorial in their honour will finally bring recognition to their valiant efforts.

Hear members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dedicated Memorial Queensland Incorporated committee speak about the process of creating the memorial.

Dedicated memorial committee Origins and history of NAIDOC Week


Catch up on the insightful ‘Truth-telling through a lived experience’ webinar from the First People’s Health Unit, which was held during NAIDOC Week.

Presenters included Pro Vice Chancellor (Indigenous) Professor Cindy Shannon and Dr Clinton Schultz, who was Griffith University’s Outstanding First Peoples Alumnus Award winner in 2018.

To kickstart NAIDOC Week celebrations, Griffith has launched an exciting collaboration with Kombumerri families that will ensure local students develop a greater understanding of the Kombumerri’s custodianship of the land on which the Gold Coast campus is located. Read more about this unique partnership and the video resources that have been developed as result at Griffith News.

In another first for NAIDOC Week, Griffith Business School launched a new webpage to showcase its First People’s credentials and its new Bachelor of Business.

The new degree has been developed to introduce students to the importance of understanding First Peoples knowledge in a business context.