Graphic: Community members gather around an RFDS plane on a dirt runway
This year the NAIDOC theme is Always Was, Always Will Be. This theme recognises that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years.
Graphic: RFDS staff chats to Aboriginal man
The Flying Doctor recognises that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years.
NAIDOC Week 2020, provides a great opportunity for us to reflect on the true history of this country, a history which dates back thousands of generations. It is also a great opportunity to reflect on our own journey for Reconciliation and to celebrate the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, communities, patients and partners we work with every day.
Graphic: NAIDOC Welcome to Country
We acknowledge that our nation’s story didn’t begin with documented European contact, the very first footprints on this continent were those belonging to First Nations peoples. Always was, Always will be.
Almost half of all patients the RFDS provides critical health care services to are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It is particularly for this reason, and the fact that over 60% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples live in our primary service footprint of rural Australia, that the RFDS takes seriously the importance of NAIDOC week to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, history and achievements.
Throughout NAIDOC week, our staff have been participating and supporting NAIDOC week all over the country, including Smoking Ceremonies, Cultural Learning Sessions, Welcome to Country events and Signature Flying Doctor Artwork was launched in both South Australia and Queensland.
In addition to local events, NAIDOC week has been a great opportunity for us to reflect on the many ways the RFDS can better contribute to working towards genuine, meaningful reconciliation in order to achieve better outcomes for our First Peoples. The RFDS Federation board met during NAIDOC week and endorsed our next RFDS RAP to be launched in early 2021.
Always Was, Always Will be.
Find out about the RFDS Reconciliation Journey below