How your school can celebrate NAIDOC Week

How your school can celebrate NAIDOC Week
55 Great Ideas for Events and Activities Celebrating
1. Hold a flag raising ceremony of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags.
2. Create Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags (crepe paper or calico) and display
them in classrooms, the main foyer or in the assembly area
3. Display Indigenous posters, and have them explained with research, each class could
select a poster or artwork and act as curators as to why they made this choice. This
could also be done and parents invited in to be the walking audience.
4. Stage a NAIDOC Week display in the school library, and have students research the
names of books, films, internet sites, resources etc to create a folder of potential
resources. Each stage could have a different and appropriate medium, eg early and
stage one could research picture books etc.
5. Learn to play Indigenous Traditional Games, Sport and Recreation will come in and
teach so that your students can then teach other students ( eg Yr 6 develop their
leadership skills to use with younger stages)
6. Invite local Indigenous Elders to a morning tea or lunch, speak/visit.
7. Hold a NAIDOC Week breakfast (Johnny cakes and lillypilly jam etc) and organise for a
guest speaker to talk to students about important issues to Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander people, could be the importance of good nutrition and what traditional food used
to be.
8. Listen to Indigenous music or radio stations in class. Use this music with a PA system
instead of the school bell for the week.
9. Study and research famous Indigenous Australians. Make it stage appropriate from
drawing portraits, to written responses to an electronic response such as power point or
flipchart for interactive whiteboards.
Find out about the Traditional people from your area and learn the meanings of local
and/or national Aboriginal place names. Stages could have different states or Territories,
place then on a map and explain what the name meant, maybe even which language
this name/ word comes from.
Study Aboriginal arts and crafts. Then, taking one of the skills have a craft activity.
Weaving from local grasses is especially challenging and cost effective.
Organise local craft groups / parents to make a quilt with messages about NAIDOC
Week. Classes can also do a “square” each and then combine these to form a wall
hanging made by the complete school.
Invite Indigenous artist to paint a panel and wall for the school. Fundraise by holding a
raffle of the smaller painting, and use these funds to pay for the mural.
Indigenous drawings are a great focus for storytelling and design. They often feature
native animals and this can be linked back into COGs units, geography etc.
Read a dreamtime story, and use this as the basis of a discussion, dramatic reenactment, retelling etc.
Start your own Indigenous Hall of Fame featuring any local role models and achievers.
Successful past Aboriginal students are also a good point at which to begin.
Be inspired by Aboriginal art. Study and appreciate Aboriginal artwork. Give it a context
and learn about the purpose of artworks, and how it has changed in recent years. Now
be inspired and together create a painting for your classroom, for book covers, to frame
and display etc.
Visit Indigenous websites on the internet and create a bibliography of sites and their
use / purpose.
Make your own Indigenous Trivia Quiz and test your classes. Have a fun “Aboriginal
Trivia” at lunchtime or have classes send questions to each other during the week (
which they might have to research to answer)
Visit local Indigenous sites of significance or interest. Ideally visit them with a local
Elder. Prepare damper / Johnny cakes or Indigenous dishes and share in class groups
larger groupings.
Plant a native Australian plant and have students research what it is and what it could
be used for, eg healing or bush tucker.
Create an Internet page that is linked to your school web page showing your activities.
Hold an artist competition on the theme of “Honouring our Elders, Nurturing our Youth”
and then ask students to visit them displayed (like at art gallery) they could vote, secret
ballot and award winner. Could have “people’s choice” (students) and “packers choice”
(teachers) along lines of Archibald, awarded annually to the best portrait, or The Wynne,
awarded annually for the best landscape painting of Australian scenery.
Alternate art activity based on the Sir John Sulman Prize, which is awarded annually
for the “best subject/genre painting and /or murals/ mural project”. Using chalks and
large paved areas around school students / classes/ groups to create mural based upon
NAIDOC focus and then have it judged.
Hold a writing competition based around the important issues of Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander people.
Organise a poster making competition and then ask a local identity to present the prize
or awards.
Arrange an essay or short story writing competition. Display the essays in your school
library or go out into the community with them and approach a local or community or
shopping centre to allow them to be displayed publicly.
Show Indigenous artefacts and then research or dices their purpose, what they were
made from, design a pamphlet / postcard to document this item, so that it is suitable to
be purchased by tourists, visitors etc. Then make a display of the various postcards.
Take it a step further and design the stamps, using the faces. Images of famous and
noteworthy Aboriginal people.
Hold basket-making workshops and invite community members to participate.
Organise an event such as an art display, photographic exhibition, sporting match,
musical event. Do this as a whole school project. Divide the library / hall into areas for
each class group and have them create their own display, and then invite local
community members in to view this.
Organise an information session with displays, discussion groups and information on
services and products.
Request a certificate of appreciation for Indigenous people who have contributed to
building a better understanding and relationship between the community and Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander people.
Arrange a display at a local shopping centre/central public area showcasing the
achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Hold a launch at your school to celebrate NAIDOC Week; invite outside speakers to
talk about what NAIDOC Week means to them, and then have students contribute what
it means to them.
Arrange to have NAIDOC Week messages displayed on billboards around your
community and include the name of your school as one that celebrates this diversity in
our community.
Hold a sausage sizzle and display a NAIDOC Week banner or other relevant
awareness information. Invite family and community to share the moment and celebrate
Hire or buy a badge-making machine and make up badges using '‘NAIDOC Week' or
make up your own NAIDOC Week message.
Print and distribute stickers displaying the importance of NAIDOC Week to hand out to
the community.
Organise a film night, with a film appropriate to the purpose of the week to promote
NAIDOC Week, such as Ten Canoes or Kanyini ( both wonderful films aimed at adult
Contact other local schools and encourage NAIDOC Week activities where you could
share the venue, possible transition to HS idea. Develop and run a "mini schools expo"
with a theme, eg Aboriginal art, Aboriginal technology, etc. Each school could have own
"stand" on the one site (Maybe feeder HS). Students or visitors have "passport" which is
stamped as they participate in each activity with a reward at the end of the day. Develop
a joint flyer, newsletter to promote to wider communities.
Hold a “travel” expo that features diverse Aboriginal groups from around Australia.
Each class research a group and present a stand, and then all students have a passport
which is stamped as they “travel” to learn about these different groups. Link this to
overall cultural diversity and have a follow event looking at all the countries represented
in your school, and the “departure” lounge could be decorated using Aboriginal artwork.
Create a play with your students, exploring the theme for the year. The same message
could be dealt with in a variety of situations, eg inner city modern setting, remote and historical
setting etc.
Approach a local identity/ies to make a statement/s about NAIDOC Week that you can
quote in your school your newsletter)
Develop “community service type announcements” and promote these using the
school’s PA system, like a radio station to use them throughout the week.
Organise a raffle to promote NAIDOC Week, this could be organised by the SRC. The
major prize could be a CDs of Aboriginal music ( such as Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu )
or a package of books (such as those from Indij Readers)
Make a banner for NAIDOC Week and have it erected over the main entrance and
before this….organise a banner-making workshop.
Launch new Aboriginal “resources” during NAIDOC Week at a staff meeting.
Arrange for a story on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues to be printed in your
newsletter or approach local papers to print this and a picture of your kids working on it.
Arrange for messages about NAIDOC Week to be printed on the back of canteen
lunch order bags
Use “street” theatre, mime, dance, a rap contest and poetry to promote NAIDOC Week
using the school quadrangle / cola area as the “street” and classes to walk along the
“street” and enjoy the talents and skills of the other students.
Approach your local drama group to present a play about Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander issues, or produce an Aboriginal play, or extract from one, starring your
students, such as Leah Purcell’s “Box the Pony”.
Organise a clothesline project where students write or draw messages about NAIDOC
Week on t-shirts and hang or display them in a prominent place such as the main foyer
or throughout the assembly area.
Design t-shirts displaying the importance of issues to Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander people and have an out of uniform day, if you charged a gold coin this could be
used to purchase things such as Kangaroo meat or crocodile sausages to have a tasting
of at lunchtime.
Hold a “themed” assembly, and have classes or students talking about NAIDOC and
the theme. Make it a celebration of achievement by presenting awards (student and
staff) and acknowledging community volunteers, such as In-Class tutors.