The National, Wednesday July 10th, 2013
THE National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) week was launched in Port Moresby yesterday.
Speaking at the Australian High Commission during the launch, Australian Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs Matt Thistlethwaite said the event was to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Australia’s Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders.
“This year’s NAIDOC week celebrates the 50th anniversary of the presentation of the Yirrkala Bark Petitions to the Australian federal parliament,” he said.
“In August 1963, the Yolngu people of Yirrkala, in northeast Arnhem Land, sent two petitions to the Australian House of Representatives.
“The petitions sought the recognition by the Australian parliament of the Yolngu people’s traditional rights and ownership of their land and were the first traditional documents recognised by the Commonwealth parliament.