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Indigenous Voice?

It’s Naidoc Week in Australia, and this year’s theme is: ‘Voice. Treaty. Truth. Let’s work together.’ As the locals are no doubt aware, Naidoc was once the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee, but the day has been stretched into a week, the ‘Islanders’ are properly ‘Torres Strait Islanders’, and ‘Aborigines’ is now a politically incorrect term, so like most organisations these days Naidoc is known only by its former initials. You just have to know. Or check Wikipedia.

Back when Naidoc was satisfied with a day, it was conceived as a ‘Day of Mourning’, to be contrasted with January 26’s Australia Day, the ‘day of drinking’. January 26 also commemorates the arrival of the first English settlers (well, outcasts might be more accurate) on the continent. Australia Day was later rebranded ‘Invasion Day’, which of course was what it was, seen from a certain perspective. To change the mood, and perhaps to provide some winter cheer, Naidoc Day was moved to July and rebranded a ‘Day of Celebration’. This year’s celebrations focus on demands for an ‘Indigenous Voice’.

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