The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is committed to advancing reconciliation and the interests of Australia's First Peoples. Our commitment is set out in the Reconciliation Action Plan, Indigenous Peoples Strategy and Indigenous Recruitment and Career Development Strategy. These foundational documents show all staff how they can, and should, contribute. We all have an important role to play, whether in Australia or overseas, to contribute to reconciliation and ensuring an inclusive workplace for all.
Celebrating NAIDOC Week, as well as other days and weeks of cultural significance, is a clear and tangible demonstration of our shared commitment.
DFAT's celebration of the 2018 NAIDOC Week theme "Because of Her, We Can" honoured the rich contribution Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have made and continue to make.
The department was proud to host a mini exhibition of the National Museum of Australia's Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters as the centrepiece of this year's celebration. The Seven Sisters songlines is one of Australia's oldest stories, and this innovative Indigenous-led exhibition provided a valuable experience for staff, guests and members of the diplomatic corps.
Travelling all the way from Australia's Central and Western deserts, women elders involved in creating the Songlines exhibition delivered a memorable and engaging performance as the centrepiece of the week. We also welcomed the very talented women Indigenous vocalists from the Mission Songs Project, an initiative to revive contemporary Australian Indigenous songs from 1900 to 1999.
Our celebration of Indigenous women also featured for the first time a speaker series that showcased the insights, skills and achievement of leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in exchanges with the public and with leaders in business, government, civil society and academia throughout the Indo-Pacific region.
The week also presented a flurry of activities for staff, including an engaging presentation by Tanya Denning-Orman, Manager of the National Indigenous TV channel, a hotly-contested quiz night and APS touch football competition and cultural appreciation training.
Video: Celebrating NAIDOC Week 2018
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this film may contain the names and images and voices of deceased people.