Australians challenged to stand up for change this NAIDOC Week

Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!

NAIDOC Week launched last night (Saturday July 2) with brilliant fanfare at Melbourne’s Convention and Exhibition Centre, holding its first live Awards Ceremony in three years.

Each year a different Focus City has the honour of hosting the annual awards, and this year the NAIDOC committee chose Narrm (Melbourne).

The 2022 NAIDOC theme is loud and commanding. We cannot ignore it. Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!

“From the frontier wars and our earliest resistance fighters to our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities fighting for change today – we continue to show up,” the committee said in a statement.

“Now is our time. We cannot afford to lose momentum for change. We all must continue to Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! for systemic change and keep rallying around our mob, our Elders, our communities.

“Whether it’s seeking proper environmental, cultural and heritage protections, Constitutional change, a comprehensive process of truth-telling, working towards treaties, or calling out racism – we must do it together.”

A week-long celebration

The acronym NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. It has its roots in the 1938 Day of Mourning, becoming a week-long event in 1975.

This year, NAIDOC Week celebrations will run across Australia until Sunday July 10, celebrating the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Here at Eternity, we will commit every day of NAIDOC Week to tell stories of empowerment, courage and partnership between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christians and the rest of us.

We are blessed to hear regular stories of lives transformed through Christ’s healing words because of Bible Society’s partnerships with Indigenous translators and organisations such as the Australian Society for Indigenous Languages (AuSIL), the Church Missionary Society and Wycliffe.

Sadly, the biggest impediment to Indigenous Bible translation is death.

One of Bible Society’s Translation Consultations, David Barnett, explains:

“I was planning on being in Western Australia this week and last, working with some men who speak Ngadju, a very endangered language in Southeast WA, around goldfields area surrounding Norseman.

“We can all pray for healing, protection, and change.” – David Barnett

“We had planned to work on translating the story of Jesus’s birth and its announcement from Luke 2:6-12 into their language. That trip got cancelled (or at least moved to later in the year) because of funerals and surgery in the immediate circles of the three translators. The untimely death of one translator’s son, another translator’s wife going in for heart surgery, a tragic car accident killing three young family members, and another three funerals of family members are among what I mean by ‘funerals and surgery’.

“It’s not uncommon for translation work to be moved around and delayed by Sorry Business. It happens all the time.

“However, death doesn’t stop these translators. They still want to keep working on getting the Scriptures into their languages and out to their people. But it does slow them down, and add trauma to trauma. We might not all be directly connected to translation work or people dealing with this ongoing burden of death and disease. But we can all pray for healing, protection, and change.”

So, as you view our videos and read the stories we are highlighting for NAIDOC Week, please pray for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander brothers and sisters. There are so many obstacles in their path, but they continue to Get Up! Stand Up! And Show Up! And for that, we here at Eternity and Bible Society, are extremely grateful.