Griffith University has encouraged staff, students and community to celebrate NAIDOC Week 2021 in their own way.
NAIDOC is a national week of acknowledgement and celebration of the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
In 2021, the theme of Heal Country, heal our nation, recognises Country as inherent to identity and calls for stronger measures to recognise, protect and maintain all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage, their lands, their waters and their sacred sites.
Pro Vice Chancellor (Indigenous) and Head, Logan Campus, Professor Cindy Shannon AM, said Griffith recognised the unique place of First Peoples in Australia’s history and culture, and the importance of respecting Indigenous knowledges, culture and talent.
“Griffith was the first university in the country to establish a unit designated to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples success, the GUMURRII Student Success Unit, and has one of the highest participation rates of First Peoples students in the country,” Professor Shannon said.
“I think it’s particularly important for us to reflect on the fact that we have campuses on lands belonging to various traditional owner groups and the University draws staff and students from across the country.
“We also work collaboratively with Indigenous communities in providing research solutions, together providing exciting opportunities and addressing key challenges.”
Professor Shannon said the Griffith community usually came together each year for NAIDOC Week.
“Griffith traditionally hosts a number of campus activities and actively participates in local events during NAIDOC Week,” she said.
“This year, however, due to current COVID-19 restrictions, most physical events have been postponed to ensure the health and safety of all within our community.
“However, this does not diminish the importance of celebrating NAIDOC.
“We encourage all staff and students to commemorate the occasion in their own way, taking the opportunity to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and culture, the oldest continuous culture in this nation and the world.”
“In doing so, it’s important to recognize the huge diversity of backgrounds that exist in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”
Griffith will reschedule a number of its NAIDOC celebrations for later in the year.