NAIDOC (the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee) is an awareness committee and the name of an Australian week of observance lasting from the first Sunday in July until the following Sunday.
After a time of seeking justice from the Australian government, Indigenous Australians held the first "Day of Mourning" in 1938 to highlight injustices put upon them. In 1955, it was suggested that this day become a National Day with the aim to change negative views and celebrate the richness of Indigenous culture and heritage.
In 1957, the first National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) with the support of Federal and local governments was formed. To mark Aborigines' Day in Australia, on the first Sunday in July every year, NAIDOC celebrations and events happen within Indigenous Australia and invites the rest of the world to join in.
Many Torres Strait Islanders commemorate the Coming of the Light Festival the week before 1 July, which is the day the London Missionary Society first arrived in the Torres Strait.
NAIDOC Activities that are held during the week-long celebrations are cultural and educational activities in schools, public displays and the NAIDOC Ball is held in each city across the nation, which celebrates the end of the festivities with Indigenous food and bands.
NAIDOC is primarily celebrated in Adelaide, Darwin and Sydney but large rural Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, such as those Alice Springs, Hermannsburg, Shepparton and Mildura, are also involved.
In Western Australia, an Australian rules football match between Claremont and South Fremantle in the West Australian Football League has been played during NAIDOC week since 2007, with the winner being awarded the Jimmy Melbourne Cup, in honour of the first indigenous Australian player to play senior football in a major Australian football league.