Celebrating NAIDOC Week: Why Eddie, Caleb and Greg are proud

In honour of NAIDOC Week (7-14 July), we profile three First Nations people we support, to learn about their cultural identity and what the event means to them.

With origins traced to the 1930s, NAIDOC Week has emerged as a significant annual celebration of the culture and contributions of First Nations people.

In 2024, the National Aboriginal and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) event is celebrating the resilient spirit of First Nations communities with the theme: ‘Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud’.

As always, NAIDOC Week invites all Australians to listen, learn and engage in conversations that encourage people to value and respect the knowledge and contributions of First Nations people.

With that in mind, we are spotlighting a trio of First Nations people, who are part of the Endeavour Foundation family, to discover their connection to country.

Eddie the artist

Eddie is a proud Yidinji man who has lived in one of Endeavour Foundation’s Supported Independent Living (SIL) homes in Mareeba for more than 20 years.

He previously worked at Mareeba Business Solutions for three decades.

Eddie connects to country through painting and attending art shows that feature Aboriginal artwork. His Indigenous identity is deeply rooted in his family and heritage.

He shares his culture with others by displaying his paintings throughout his house and sharing the stories behind them.

During NAIDOC Week, Eddie plans to attend art and dancing shows at Mulungu.

Eddie's love for his family, his fish tank and Aboriginal artwork, as well as his desire to spend time with family, are important parts of his life.

How do you want people to perceive you as a Yidinji man and a person with disability?

I am the same as everyone else.

Caleb embraces his culture

Caleb, whose family comes from Darnley Island in the Torres Strait, is a valued team member at our Cairns Business Solutions site.

He has worked there since 2016 and enjoys collecting and shredding documents.

Caleb connects to country by attending events celebrating NAIDOC Week with his family, which he says are important for honouring their history.

He shares his culture with his work friends by telling them about his heritage. He also appreciates when sporting teams feature First Nations designs on their jerseys.

In his free time, Caleb enjoys playing basketball and sailing with Sailability.

What does your Torres Strait Islander identity mean to you?

It makes me feel happy and proud.

How do you want people to think of you as a Torres Strait Islanderman and a person with disability?

That I am a proud Torres Strait Islander.

Greg gets behind NAIDOC week

Greg is from the Yirrganydji mob from Yarrabah.

He is a team member at our Cairns Business Solutions site and has been with Endeavour Foundation for almost 40 years. Along with Caleb, Greg works on shredding and sorting documents.

Greg connects to country by attending events and visiting Yarrabah to see his family. He shares his culture with his work friends by telling them he is from Yarrabah.

During NAIDOC Week, Greg and his family enjoy participating and helping out with events.

Greg also loves playing basketball, swimming, going to the gym, listening to music and playing the piano.

What does your Yirrganydji identity mean to you?

Proud of where I come from, and it makes me happy.

Embracing NAIDOC Week

NAIDOC Week provides all Australians with a unique opportunity to deepen our understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures.

Check out the NAIDOC Week events happening in your area.

At Endeavour Foundation, we aim to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of First Nations cultures.

Our commitment to inclusion means valuing and respecting the unique perspectives and experiences of all.

Read more about our commitments, including our Reconciliation Action Plan, here.

Endeavour Foundation helps to make possibilities a reality for people with disability. If you want more inspiration, tips, and other insights, explore more of our stories.

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