NAIDOC Week 2024 Keep the Fire Burning

Jul 8, 2024 | Community, Youth

This National NAIDOC Week 2024 we’re proud to champion young people like Jorden, a Kamilaroi man who’s putting his values into action and stepping up to impact his community.

Here he shares some of his story and what it means to Keep the fire burning! Blak, Loud and Proud.

Bidwill Neighbour Day Activities 2021

Image: “Jorden on the Pilgrimage to Country in NSW

Where it began

“It started for me when I was in high school, I found myself being exposed more and more to Indigenous culture, I had already became aware of my Indigenous heritage way back in primary school, but I had next to no knowledge of anything about my culture besides my mob and it wasn’t until high school that I started to learn about traditions and customs within my culture. I guess the main thing that pushed me to learn about my culture was purely extreme curiosity.

Learning Values

I began studying and learning more and more about my culture; I wanted to know everything! I was fortunate enough to have someone at school who I considered, and still do consider a mentor. I underwent cultural teachings, learning Indigenous values such as respect, integrity and equity. Values that I carry with me every single day.

Through these values I quickly built leadership traits which helped me be something of a role model for my peers at school and in parts of the community like Fusion.

After High School

I then graduated high school, but the fire did not burn out there. It has continued into my work life, where I am honoured to be able teach children from the ages of 3 to 5 years old my culture, teach them values such as respect, and equity. Teaching them way sooner than I when I learned those values.

    Morning Tea for Neighbour Day 2021

    So, what does NAIDOC Week mean to me?

    In a way it represents my life coming full circle.

    I highly encourage any young Indigenous people who might stumble onto this and read it to learn as much as you can and take it seriously. Learn key values such as respect, equity and integrity. These values are what have helped me to chase down my dreams and open more doors for future me. Keep that fire burning.

    Do You Want to Find Out More about NAIDOC Week?

    The theme of this year’s NAIDOC Week is “Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud” and we’re all invited to learn more, listen deeply and seek to understand and value the stories and experience of our First Nations peoples, the oldest living cultures in the world.

    Look for events in your community and start listening to your local story. Be ready to listen, learn and be inspired.