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Six ways to celebrate NAIDOC Week

27 June 2024

Take time to embrace Melbourne’s Aboriginal history during NAIDOC Week from 7 to 14 July.

NAIDOC Week is a chance for us all to learn about First Nations cultures and histories, and join a celebration of the oldest, continuous living cultures on earth. 

Here are six ways to celebrate NAIDOC in Melbourne.

Plus two bonus events: a NAIDOC Week Family Day at Melbourne Museum on Sunday 7 July and a free tour of First Nations artworks with the Director of Aboriginal Melbourne on Wednesday 10 July.

And keep reading to find out all about NAIDOC Week. This year’s theme is ‘Keep the fire burning! Black, loud and proud’.

NAIDOC in the City

When: Friday 12 July, 3pm to 6pm

Where: Federation Square 

What: NAIDOC in the City brings a stellar lineup of First Nations talent to the main stage, including Briggs, Deans of Soul, Kutcha Edwards, Alice Skye and more. Explore 26 market stalls showcasing First Peoples designs, clothing and homewares at the Koorie Heritage Trust NAIDOC Market. Drop in on workshops and kids’ activities, and check out the sausage sizzle

How: Free. Rock up and rock out

Artist Briggs in a cap with light coming in through a window
Briggs performs at NAIDOC in the City 2024
Three performers smiling in a laneway
Deans of Soul perform at NAIDOC in the City 2024

Melbourne Zoo Community Day

When: Sunday 14 July, 10am to 3pm 

Where: Melbourne Zoo

What: Join us at Melbourne Zoo Community Day for a range of First Nations led activities for children, young people and families. Includes arts and crafts, music and cultural education. A collaboration by Aboriginal Melbourne and Melbourne Zoo

How: Zoo members and kids go free. Book your tickets

Front gates of the Melbourne Zoo with people walking past
Melbourne Zoo

Junior Ranger bush food and bizarre bugs

When: Thursday 11 July and Sunday 14 July from 10am to midday

Where: narrm ngarrgu Library, 141 Therry Street Melbourne

What: Calling all kids! Why are bugs important to the world? What is bush food? Discover the answer to this and more in a fun-filled session led by Traditonal Owner organisation, the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation, and City of Melbourne Park Rangers. For all children aged 5 to 12 years

How: Book your free tickets for the Thursday session and the Sunday session

Park rangers and kids in a park, looking out over a bridge at birds
Junior Rangers in action

BLAKtivism. Build Blak Power. Fight for Change 

When: Thursday 11 July from 5.15pm to 6.30pm

Where: narrm ngarrgu Library, 141 Therry Street Melbourne

What: Discuss Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander activism with Bebe Oliver in this reflective and provocative panel, guided by Laniyuk, Apryl Day and Iluka Sax-Williams. Illuminate past, present and future efforts in our community, with a special performance by A Daylight Connection

How: Book your free tickets to BLAKtivism

A person in a beanie and black tshirt stands in a room smiling calmly, arms folded, windows and plants behind him.
Illuka Sax-Williams joins the BLAKtivism panel

Josh Deane: Crackle of the Cockatoos

When: 10 to 16 July during library open hours

Where: Library at The Dock, 107 Victoria Harbour Promenade Docklands

What: Check out an intriguing installation by Palawa contemporary artist Josh Deane, featuring a group of papier-mache cockatoos. Each sculpture incorporates paper as a tribute to the library environment. Inspired by the bond his grandad shared with a cockatoo, Josh’s artwork reflects his personal connection to these majestic birds

How: Free event, no need to book

An artist in front of his artworks of birds, plants and people
Artist Josh Deane

Haus of Dizzy charm bracelet workshop

When: Thursday 11 July, 11am to 1pm or 1.30pm to 3.30pm.

Where: narrm ngarrgu Library, 141 Therry Street Melbourne.

What: Welcome to the ultimate bling-tastic workshop with the Queen of Bling, Wiradjuri designer Kristy Dickinson of Haus of Dizzy. Assemble your own custom statement accessory from a variety of charms that celebrate and honour Aboriginal culture

How: Book your tickets for this free event

A gold charm bracelet with bold charms on a blue background
Haus of Dizzy charm bracelet

What is NAIDOC all about?

NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for all Australians to learn about First Nations cultures and histories and participate in celebrations of the oldest, continuous living cultures on earth.

The theme for 2024 is Keep the fire burning! Black, loud and proud.

What do the letters in NAIDOC stand for?

National Aborigines and Islander Day Observance Committee.

NAIDOC was originally was the committee responsible for organising national activities during NAIDOC Week.

The committee’s acronym has evolved into the name of the week itself.

Why do we celebrate NAIDOC in July?

NAIDOC began with a Day of Mourning protest on 26 January 1938.

A Day of Mourning was held annually on the Sunday before Australia Day until 1955, when the event shifted to the first Sunday in July and became a day of celebration.

These days, we mark NAIDOC with a week-long celebration.

Artist Alice Sky wears a pale blue dress and sits on the floor, her long hair in a plait.
Alice Skye will perform at NAIDOC in the City 2024

How do we celebrate NAIDOC in Melbourne?

Today, NAIDOC highlights the strength and resilience of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Each year the City of Melbourne is proud to support activities across the week to acknowledge the contribution that Aboriginal culture, knowledge and heritage does to enrich the city’s development.

All Melburnians and visitors to the city are welcome to join these activities with the Aboriginal community.

Where do I found out about NAIDOC?

Important note: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: please be advised that the photos and videos shown on these pages may contain images and voices of deceased persons. 

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