Australian Embassy
The Philippines

MR090707- NAIDOC Week 2009- Celebrating Australia\'s Indigenous Heritage


The Australian Embassy celebrates NAIDOC (National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee) Week 2009 this month with a series of activities highlighting Australia’s rich and diverse Indigenous heritage.

Australian Embassy Chargé d’Affaires, Stephen Scott said NAIDOC Week was an opportunity for Australians to recognise and showcase the contributions Indigenous Australians make across many fields, including the arts, media, academic, sport, government, business and diplomacy.

NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia and at Australia’s diplomatic missions around the world each July to honour the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

This year’s celebrations in Manila will include a morning tea to hand over Australian Government-funded indigenised educational materials to Dananao Elementary School in Kalinga Province. The teaching and learning materials were produced under the ‘Indigenising Education in a Kalinga Public School’ project headed by the Ateneo Centre for Educational Development and supported by Volunteers for International Development from Australia.

“The project seeks to improve the quality of education provided by the Dananao Elementary School in Kalinga through the provision of educational materials suited to the needs and culture of its Indigenous tribe, the Ichananaw,” Mr Scott said.

The Embassy will also hold a series of short film screenings to showcase Australian indigenous culture, film makers and actors. The screenings will show at the University of the Philippines - Manila (7, 8 and 10 July) and the University of Asia and the Pacific (15 and 29 July).

Australia’s development assistance program continues to help promote indigenous culture in the Philippines. The Institute for Indigenous People Education (IIPE) established under the auspices of our Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao (BEAM) program in 2004 has benefited more than 34,000 students and 800 teachers in Mindanao through the implementation of an indigenised curriculum.

Since 2006, the Embassy’s Direct Aid Program (DAP) has provided nearly Php3 million to programs that contribute to the welfare and income-generating capacity of IPs.