NAIDOC Week: Heal Country

NAIDOC Week: Heal Country

NAIDOC Week is a time to reflect and celebrate the history, culture and achievements of our First Nation Peoples, recognising them as the Traditional Custodians of this land. NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life.

Celebrated from Sunday 4 July to Sunday 11 July, the theme for NAIDOC 2021 is Heal Country! As stated by the National NAIDOC Week Committee:

“Heal Country! calls for us all to continue to seek greater protections for our lands, our waters, our sacred sites and our cultural heritage from exploitation, desecration and destruction." 

Above: Heal Country’ announced as the theme for NAIDOC 2021

Heal Country! invites all Australians to reflect on the history of our country and shared future. In doing so, the theme calls for stronger measures to recognise, protect, and maintain all aspects of our culture and heritage.

In support of Heal Country! the Watarrka Foundation have compiled a collection of highly acclaimed texts, exhibitions and viewing opportunities for our readers. These resources include documentations of Aboriginal histories and autobiographies recounting stories of injustice and survival. Through these resources, we hope to provide our community with an opportunity to come together and celebrate the rich history, diverse cultures and achievements of our First Nation Peoples.

‘Unsettled’ at the Australian Museum

In this powerful exhibition, First Nations voices reveal the hidden stories of devastation, survival and the fight for recognition. These first-hand accounts are presented through long hidden historical documents, large-scale artworks, immersive experiences and never-before-seen objects from the Australian Museum collections and beyond. Learn more here.

ABC Celebrates NAIDOC Week 2021

Throughout NAIDOC Week, the ABC will showcase Indigenous storytelling across television, radio and online, including the premieres of arts documentaries Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra, My Name is Gulpilil and Dubboo: Life of a Songman. Learn more here.

SBS on Demand

SBS On Demand celebrates NAIDOC Week 2021 with a collection of series and films celebrating and reflecting on the history, cultures and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Learn more here.

Truganini by Cassandra Pybus (2020)

‘Truganini’ tells the story of Truganini, one of the last full-blooded Aboriginal Tasmania women famous for surviving a monumental tragedy in the 1820s – the so-called extinction of the Indigenous people of Tasmania. For nearly seven decades, Truganini lived through a psychological and cultural shift more extreme than we can imagine. The book is filled with original eyewitness accounts, challenging the readers perception of the history of Tasmania.

Fight for Liberty and Freedom by John Maynard (2007)

‘Fight for Liberty and Freedom’ explores our country’s social and political history from an Aboriginal perspective. The text recount significant political challenges and success, starting with the 1924 politically organised and united all-Aboriginal activist group ‘AAPA’. The text follows their journey in their fight for Aboriginal right to land and the acquisition of citizenship.

Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia edited by Anita Heiss (2018)

‘Growing up Aboriginal in Australia’ is an anthology recounting childhood stories of family, country and belonging. Accounts from well-known authors and high-profile identities sit alongside those from newly discovered writers of all ages. All of the contributors speak from the heart – sometimes calling for empathy, oftentimes challenging stereotypes, always demanding respect. Purchase the book from Indigenous publish house Magabala.

Finding the Heart of the Nation by Thomas Mayor (2019)

‘Finding the Heart of the Nation’ documents interviews from the authors travels around Australia with The Uluru Statement from the Heart. In these interviews, the reader gains insight into how the statement impacted the lives of Indigenous Australians. The book was later published in a kids version which was included in our previous article here.

In addition to these resources, there are a variety of events happening throughout NAIDOC Week. However, due to current COVID19 restrictions across the Nation, NAIDOC Week events are subject to change. To stay up to date on events happening near you, visit: For further information on NAIDOC, please visit their website at

To support the Foundation and our projects within the Northern Territory, make a donation at

Our Partners

Slow Food