Top image: A banner produced by Mooditj Keila for the 2022 NIDOC theme 'Get up, Stand up, Show up'. Used with permission.
To celebrate NAIDOC week, we invited four First Nations Christian leaders to reflect on this year's NAIDOC theme and what it means to be people who Get Up! Stand Up! And Show Up!
Read their reflections:
This year's NAIDOC week theme, Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!, reminds us of the incredible sacrifice and legacy of those who have gone before and was chosen as a reminder to First Nations people to continue to strive for systemic change and keep rallying around their mob, Elders and communities.
Hebrews 12:1, and Welcome to Country ceremonies are powerful reminders that we are surrounded by a ‘great cloud of witnesses’, Hebrews inspires us not to give up but to ‘run with perseverance’. Tearfund has joined with Aboriginal Evangelical Fellowship and Uniting Aboriginal Congress as they reflect on how the theme Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! and being surrounded by a cloud of witnesses has helped them “run the race set before them.” They have shared stories of courage, determination, activism and faith as part of this year’s NAIDOC week theme.
What has emerged is a wonderful array of testimonies of faith, vision, perseverance and ultimately love, that demonstrate the lifetime work of four Christian First Nations leaders.
One of renowned Aboriginal Christian leader William Cooper’s significant legacies is what we today celebrate as NAIDOC Week. A tireless campaigner for the rights of his people, Cooper asked that churches across the country spend time in prayer for Aboriginal people, this led to the creation of ‘Aboriginal Sunday’, which then became NAIDOC Week.
Today, NAIDOC week is a chance to come together and celebrate the histories, cultures and achievements of First Nations people in Australia.
Tearfund Australia has a vision for reconciliation, for a more just and compassionate world for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to achieve their God-given potential. We are proud to again celebrate NAIDOC week and shine a light on the relentless and sacrificial work and story of First Nations leaders.