Bookmark and Share

Celebrating Indigenous culture for NAIDOC week including a rich union history

08 July 2013 By ASU & ACTU

The ASU and the Australian union movement in general has been a staunch supporter of Indigenous rights, both at work and in the community. NAIDOC Week from 7-14 July gives us an opportunity to celebrate the culture of our Indigenous people and to reflect on our shared history in the union movement.

Every day, Australian Unions negotiate and campaign to improve the pay and conditions of more than 6 million working Australians - almost 2 million of whom are union members.

But it's the life that we have outside of work that makes our campaigns worthwhile. That's why unions play a role in many community events and social causes too.

This week is NAIDOC Week, and Australian Unions are celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and the contributions of Indigenous Australians.

Check out the video below to learn more about the proud history that the union movement and Indigenous communities share.

This NAIDOC Week we are commemorating the Yirrkala Bark Petitions 1963 and honouring the Yolgnu people, who helped pave the way for further grass roots action for the civil and working rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

The Yirrkala Bark Petitions set in motion the struggle for Aboriginal people to be recognised as the traditional owners and First Nations people of Australia.

The Yirrkala Bark Petitions and the Yolgnu people helped provide the foundations for significant shifts in Australia such as: the 1964 Wave Hill Walk Off (and proceeding award wages for Aboriginal stockmen); the 1967 Referendum and later the 1992 Mabo decision which overturned the notion that Australia was unoccupied before colonial settlement.

As we reflect on and recognise the contributions of Indigenous Australians over the next week - and specifically the Yirrkala Bark Petitions - we're reminded of the power we have when we work together for a better life.

Click here to see and share our NAIDOC Week video and together through our unions, we'll write the next chapter in that story and keep fighting for a better life for all Australians.


More information

You can find out more at the ASU Indigenous Members webpage.

2016 NAIDOC Week

PS Share this with your friends so they can see just how important unions are right across our society. If you're not sure if they're a union member, now is a great time to ask them to join.

Contact Details
Name: David Smith, ASU National Secretary
Telephone: 03 9342 1400