PME Resources

NAIDOC Week - 08-15 November 2020

By Peter Ross November 9, 2020

NAIDOC Week recognises and celebrates the First Nations people that have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years and invites all Australians to embrace the ancient history of this country. This year NAIDOC week has been rescheduled to 8-15 November which coincides with Armistice Day on 11 November – the day that fighting ended on land, sea and air in World War 1.

Due to this coincidence it is as important as ever, that we as soldiers recognise our heritage – the men and women who fought for the freedom of this land called Australia. Our country has been through many stages of development, some are regrettable and others are amazing. This is our history. It cannot be changed but we can learn from it and we can make the future better for our families and those who follow us.

Some of the darker parts of our history is that our Indigenous heritage was overlooked and disregarded for over 100 years – so for this NAIDOC week, let us put that behind us and celebrate our First Nations people’s culture and their care for our land. We also need to realise that even though our Indigenous people were not regarded as citizens, they joined our Army as early as the Boer War; in fact, they have fought in the Australian Army in every major theatre of war.

The five bulletins that are being released this NAIDOC week are designed to give you more understanding of our heritage of both our Indigenous culture and our Indigenous military history. Each day we are either repeating the past or creating a new future. Let us in Army, through our cultural awareness, set the standard for a better future for Australia both at work and at home.


Discussion Points

#1 What is NAIDOC Week?

What can we do as soldiers and members of our local communities to participate in this cultural celebration of our country’s history?

Is there something that each of us could do today to show respect or build a relationship with an Indigenous community?

#2 Army Values and Indigenous Culture.

In what ways are Army Culture and Indigenous Cultures similar?

How does understanding your mate’s culture help you work better together?

#3 Indigenous Pre Recruit Program (IPRP)

How do you think the IPRP helps Indigenous candidates to adjust to Army culture?

Do you think that the IPRP is enabling Army to help with employment of Indigenous people while maintaining and building a strong Army? Why?

#4 Indigenous Programs raising Army’s Cultural Awareness?

In what way does learning more about our own Australian cultures prepare us for operations with other cultures?

What can we learn from our Indigenous culture to enable us to be better soldiers both at work and at home?

#5 Kapooka’s Indigenous Aunty and Uncle?

How does our cultural military history give us more strength to face future threats at home and abroad?

How can we help our mates, both inside Army and civilian, to grow in unity and understanding of each other and other cultures?







Peter Ross

Major Peter Ross is the Forces Command Indigenous Liaison Officer.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Australian Army, the Department of Defence or the Australian Government.

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