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Director's Blog: Shamrock Aborigines, NAIDOC, and beyond
At the Irish Embassy with Ambassador Breandán Ó Caollaí and some of the guests to celebrate NAIDOC week, 10 November 2020
Tuesday 17 November 2020
On 10th November, I had the pleasure of attending a NAIDOC event hosted at the Irish Embassy in Canberra by the Ambassador of Ireland, HE Breandán Ó Caollaí and Ms Carmel Callan. This has become an annual event, with an invited gathering of leading representatives from the Canberra Aboriginal Community and a special recognition of the Ngunnawal people and key ACT Aboriginal representative organisations, including Indigenous educational bodies and businesses. John Paul Janke, the Co-Chair of the NAIDOC Committee 2020, spoke about NAIDOC. Beforehand, John Paul and I had the chance to discuss the importance of songlines and deep history stories, which he noted was a fundamental theme to this year’s NAIDOC week, ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’. He explained that this had been selected as particularly pertinent given that 2020 is the anniversary of James Cook’s Landing. We agreed that deep Indigenous histories, once more widely understood, will transform the dominant discovery narratives of Australia.