Skip to content

Always Was, Always Will Be: ANZSOG supports NAIDOC Week 2020

5 November 2020

News and media


NAIDOC Week 2020 Logo


Statement from ANZSOG Dean and CEO Ken Smith

Each year NAIDOC (National Aboriginal and Islander Day of Celebration) Week celebrates the achievements, history and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and gives non-Indigenous Australians the chance to get involved in NAIDOC Week celebrations in their communities.

This year NAIDOC Week will be held from 8-15 November, after being postponed from July due to COVID-19. The postponement was aimed at protecting Indigenous elders and those in Indigenous communities with chronic health issues from the disastrous impacts of COVID-19.

This year’s theme is ‘Always Was, Always Will Be” – a recognition that the First Peoples of Australia have occupied and cared for the continent for 65,000 years. NAIDOC Week invites all Australians to acknowledge the long history of Australia and that the nation’s story did not begin with European contact.

The very first footprints on this continent were those belonging to First Nations peoples, who have maintained ongoing spiritual and cultural connections to the land and sea.

ANZSOG recognises the importance of acknowledging Indigenous history and culture, and the importance of incorporating Indigenous knowledge into the work of government, for the benefit of all Australians and New Zealanders. We are currently on our own journey to include Indigenous ways of knowing and being in our mission to lift the quality of public sector leadership in Australia and Aotearoa-New Zealand. This includes representation of Indigenous people at all levels of the public sector.

We are working to make Indigenous voices heard by governments, through the creation of forums where Indigenous people can discuss issues relating to a range of Indigenous issues impacting on the public sector.

Next February, with financial support from the National Indigenous Australians Agency, ANZSOG will hold its third First Peoples Public Administration Conference: Proud Partnerships in Place. For the first time, the conference will be a virtual event, providing greater access for Indigenous communities and government agencies from Australia, Aotearoa-New Zealand and across the globe.

Registrations for the Conference will open soon. To get up-to-date information please subscribe to ANZSOG’s Indigenous e-news.

Improving outcomes in Indigenous Affairs requires greater involvement of Indigenous communities and developing Indigenous leadership inside and outside the public sector. It requires governments to listen to the voice of First Peoples and hand back control over their future.

These changes will take time, but at ANZSOG we hope our small contribution can help chart the way to a future where the many Australian Indigenous achievements are celebrated all-year-round.