NAIDOC Week- celebrating the importance of language

NAIDOC Week, from 2 to 9 July, is a time for Australia to reflect and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture. 

To mark NAIDOC Week this year, Australian Hearing will run a series of events nationwide and is also excited and proud to launch a brand new campaign, the Dragonfly Project.

What does NAIDOC stand for?

NAIDOC stands for National Aborigine and Islanders Day Observance Committee and can be traced back to aboriginal groups in the 1920s who sought to raise awareness in the community about the status and treatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

This year’s NAIDOC theme

This year’s theme, ‘Our languages matter’ emphasises the importance of languages in cultural identity. Many have already been lost over time, and more are at risk as elders pass on.

How we’re marking NAIDOC Week

We know that untreated hearing loss in children significantly impacts on language development, and the flow on effect of language delay can have serious consequences throughout life. That’s why we’re responding to the NAIDOC Week theme by launching our new campaign, the Dragonfly Project, aimed at identifying and treating hearing loss in babies and young children.

What’s the Dragonfly Project?

The majority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children don’t receive a hearing check until six to eight years of age. This means they may not have been hearing well in crucial years of language development. The Dragonfly Project aims to address this by being proactive in providing hearing checks for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children between the ages of 0 and five, so they don’t start life on the back foot.

Why the dragonfly?

When babies are born into Aboriginal communities in the dry season, grandmothers will catch dragonflies and hold them against the baby’s ear to see if the baby responds to the dragonfly’s buzzing sound. If it does, they know the baby can hear. We’ve taken the dragonfly as a fitting symbol for what we’ll achieve through the project. It’s also very beautiful!

Where can I find out more about NAIDOC?

For more information on NAIDOC head to www.naidoc.gov.au

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