Let's take a moment and just appreciate what our Elders mean to us. The theme of the 2023 National NAIDOC Week is "For Our Elders," and it's all about paying tribute to their huge contributions to our communities and families. They're the wise ones who've taught us so much about our culture, our history, and how to navigate life. They're the brave hearts who've shown us how to be strong and determined, even when times get tough. They're our advocates, our caregivers, and the loving heartbeat of our society.
Our Elders are the guardians of our culture and identity. Their deep bond with the land, their skills in traditional practices, and their stewardship of our sacred places have kept our stories and traditions alive. They've fought fiercely for Indigenous rights and played a crucial role in shaping our political landscape. We owe them so much, from better health and education to a greater acknowledgement of our history and culture. We'll always be grateful for their wisdom and inspiration. They've charted the course for the future leaders, and it's our turn to carry the torch.
Not only have our Elders shaped politics and culture, but they've also been a guiding hand for the younger generation of Indigenous leaders. They've shared their life stories and helped us understand how to navigate this complicated modern world. They've shown us the importance of being resilient, staying connected to our culture, and keeping the chain of knowledge alive for future generations.
We draw strength from our Elders. We know that their past struggles have paved the way for our accomplishments today. We owe them so much, for their sacrifices, for their grit, and for their dedication to keeping our culture and heritage alive. As we look to the future, we know that we need to support our Elders to keep our cultural legacy alive and to ensure that they continue to be the rock-solid foundation of our communities.
So, let's make a pledge to ourselves this year. As we celebrate National NAIDOC Week, let's commit to supporting our Elders, taking care of their wellbeing, and sharing their stories far and wide. By doing so, we can honour their legacy and help create a brighter future for all Indigenous Australians. Let's seize this opportunity to celebrate and recognise the massive contribution of our Elders, both past and present.