NAIDOC week: Always Was, Always Will Be

Written by Michaela Brighella. Posted in News, Newsletter, Timeline

NAIDOC week 2020 ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’ takes place from 8-15 November 2020.

What does this phrase mean to you? I am reminded that the First Nations people are the oldest living group of people in Australia. Despite an extensive list of human rights abuses that First Nations people have had to endure and still experience, they are still here to teach us about how to be an Australian. How to care for the land, how to express ourselves creatively, how to respect our Elders and how to tell a story…

Two of our Year 10 students presented to the whole school assembly last week, here are some extracts from their incredible speeches:

What does this phrase really mean on a personal level? Well, for me, it describes my journey of self-discovery and is directly linked to my identity. Growing up, I always knew that I was Aboriginal, but I didn’t have much more than that. I didn’t have solid proof or documentation confirming my Aboriginality, I didn’t know my mob, I didn’t even look Aboriginal. I experienced the world in such a way that my identity as an Aboriginal person was constantly questioned and invalidated.

Now, as I have grown older, I have discovered more about myself and my heritage. I’ve learnt about culture, about Country. I’ve found community and mob. And I know much more than I did as a little kid. So, for me, the phrase ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’, describes my journey of self-discovery. There have been times I have questioned myself, and times where I denied my identity because it was easier to ignore my Aboriginality, but that didn’t make me any less Aboriginal. I always was Aboriginal, and I always will be, even as I continue to grow and learn more about myself and my heritage. – Caitlin Marr

It was not until the beginning of this year when I started to feel comfortable with expressing my identity…I have begun to learn the culture of my people, and by doing so I have found a piece of myself which had been lost. – Amelie Cox

Teachers and staff have been invited to participate in the following ways:

  • Visiting the incredible work achieved by the First Nations students in the Meeting Place, with an exhibition open for viewing during NAIDOC week.
  • Having a conversation with someone about the phrase ‘Always Was, Always Will Be- – perhaps you know of someone who has taken the journey to explore their unique Aboriginal family heritage.
  • Teaching a lesson from the SBS Learn NAIDOC Week 2020 eBook and the official website here.
  • Visiting the Student Resource Library and checking out the display and the great range of texts available.


Claire Raward                                                       
First Nations Perspectives Officer         

 Sophie Hogarth
First Nations Learning Coach

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