Nominations for the national NAIDOC awards have opened, and this year’s NAIDOC theme is a clear call to action.

In a statement, NAIDOC said the theme Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! reflects a proud history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people organising and fighting for their rights.

“From the frontier wars and our earliest resistance fighters to our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities fighting for change today—we continue to show up.

“Now is our time. We cannot afford to lose momentum for change.”

The theme is an ongoing call for action to bring about “systemic change and keep rallying around our mob, our Elders, our communities”.

“Whether it’s seeking proper environmental, cultural and heritage protections, Constitutional change, a comprehensive process of truth-telling, working towards treaties, or calling out racism—we must do it together,” they said.

“It’s also time to celebrate the many who have driven and led change in our communities over generations—they have been the heroes and champions of change, of equal rights and even basic human rights.”

In a forthright and unambiguous comment, NAIDOC said Australia needs “to move beyond just acknowledgement, good intentions, empty words and promises, and hollow commitments”

“Enough is enough – the relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians needs to be based on justice, equity, and the proper recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ rights.”

The 2022 National NAIDOC Awards acknowledge people who have empowered Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples in their communities and beyond; Who have promoted Indigenous issues in the wider community; Or who have shown excellence in their chosen field.

Nominations are now open for the Awards across ten award categories and will close Monday 11 April 2022.

The idea behind NAIDOC Week is to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

This years NAIDOC Week will be held from the 3-10th of July.

By Giovanni Torre