NAIDOC Week is not just for people in Indigenous communities. The annual celebrations every July celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This year's theme is Voice. Treaty. Truth. Given the focus on language, who better to share the meaning of the week but the people who organise NAIDOC Week. The next part of the editorial will be an edited explanation from naidoc.org.au detailing the theme of this week.
"We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future. The Indigenous voice of this country is over 65,000 plus years old. They are the first words spoken on this continent. Languages that passed down lore, culture and knowledge for over millennia. They are precious to our nation. And with 2019 being celebrated as the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages, it's time for our knowledge to be heard through our voice.
"For generations, we have sought recognition of our unique place in Australian history and society today. We need to be the architects of our lives and futures. For generations, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have looked for significant and lasting change.
"Voice. Treaty. Truth. were three key elements to the reforms set out in the Uluru Statement from the Heart. These reforms represent the unified position of First Nations Australians."
The explanation ends with: "And of course, this is not just the history of our First Peoples - it is the history of all of us, of all of Australia, and we need to own it. Then we can move forward together. Let's work together for a shared future".
This week Launceston's mayor Albert van Zetten and councillor Tim Walker started the conversation of supporting a treaty at a council level. Much like other significant issues like climate change, same-sex marriage and Australia Day debate - local government is a good place to start community conversations. As the NAIDOC Week message stated, for progress based on truth everyone past, present and future must be recognised in order to move forward together.