The NAIDOC 2020 theme Always Was, Always Will Be recognises that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for more than 65,000 years.

We are spiritually and culturally connected to this country.

Usually held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, this year NAIDOC Week was rescheduled by the national committee to 8 – 15 November in response to COVID-19.

NAIDOC invites all Australians to embrace the true history of this country – a history which dates back thousands of generations.

As part of NAIDOC Week celebrations at the University of Newcastle and the Wollotuka Institute, we invite you to reflect on the significance of this week and celebrate Indigenous culture by joining us (virtually) in our  inaugural NAIDOC Week event.

Check out the videos below to learn more about NAIDOC Week and what it means for the University of Newcastle and the Wollotuka Institute.

For more information on our online events, head over to the Wollotuka Institute - Facebook page.

NAIDOC Week Banner


Flag Raising Ceremonies - Monday 9 November

Join us live on the Wollotuka Facebook page from 9.00am on Monday 9 November for the University of Newcastle and the Wollotuka Institute’s Flag Raising ceremony at Callaghan Campus with speeches from Head of the Wollotuka Institute, Associate Professor, Kathleen Butler and Indigenous Strategy Officer, Leo Dynevor.

We will also be streaming our Ourimbah campus - Flag Raising Ceremony on the Wollotuka Facebook page from 9.30am with speeches from School of Medicine and Public Health Lecturer, Darren Nolan, Professor of Nursing and Deputy Head of School - Central Coast, Rhonda Wilson and Wollotuka Student Recruitment Officer, Dominic Dates.

NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for all Australians to come to gather and celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.  As a resident of the Central Coast, I am very fortunate to live, learn and work on Darkinjung land.  Always was, Always will be". - Dr Brok Glenn, Dean of Central Coast Campus

Raising of the Flag demonstrates Australia’s and the University's recognition of First Nation peoples, promoting a sense of community partnership and a commitment towards reconciliation.

John Maynard’s Workshop - Tuesday 10 November

Always Was, Always Will Be Aboriginal Land

In this special NAIDOC Week lecture, Professor John Maynard will reflect upon the longevity of Aboriginal connection to the Australian continent. Western science has pushed the Aboriginal presence back a staggering 65,000 years, recognising that Aboriginal people carry the longest cultural memory known to humankind. But from an Aboriginal perspective we have always been here. We were here in the time before time began, we came directly out of the Dreamtime of the Creative Ancestors and our people lived and kept the earth as it was on the very first day.

Join us from 1.00 – 3.00pm Tuesday 10 November in CT202 or online via Zoom, to hear Professor Maynard as he speaks about the long cultural connection to this local region.

Lunchtime Live – Bow and Arrow - Thursday 12 November

Bow and Arrow are an eccentric trio hailing from Surry Hills, Sydney. Mindy and Mitchell met at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and quickly established themselves as professional working musicians, touring or performing nationally and internationally for many different artists and projects including Archie Roach, Thelma Houston, Christine Anu, Dan Sultan, Shellie Morris, Jimblah, Jack Jones, Eric Avery, Emma Donovan, David Campbell, Andy Clockwise and The Black Arm Band.

Join us live at the Birabhan Building, Callaghan campus, from 12.00pm Thursday 12 November or online via The Wollotuka Institute - Facebook page.

Teach a Man to Fish - Thursday 12 November

"Teach a man to fish and he will feed for a lifetime; teach a man to be, and he will know what freedom is."

Grant Leigh Saunders is an Aboriginal filmmaker, writer and musician who has secretly always wanted to be a fisherman, just like his father and grandfather before him.

Staff and students are invited to join the Wollotuka Institute for a fantastic movie day on Thursday 12 November at Birabahn Building Room 2.05 from 1pm or online via Zoom.

NAIDOC March - Friday 13 November

Each year, to celebrate the start of NAIDOC Week the Newcastle Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community hold a formal flag raising, followed by a march from Newcastle CBD to the Foreshore Park for a fun-filled day of community events and activities. This year, due to the impact of COVID-19, the annual community march has been postponed.

Join us live via the Wollotuka Facebook page from 9.30am as we replicate the Newcastle NAIDOC March here at the University of Newcastle, Callaghan campus.

NAIDOC Week 2020 - Our Leaders

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Acknowledgement of Country

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Lord Mayor of Newcastle - Nuatali Nelmes

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Sharon Claydon MP

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Cooking at Wolly

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Workshop: Always Was, Always Will Be

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The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.