NAIDOC week.

A celebration of Aboriginal and Torres strait Islander People, their history, culture and achievements.

We had a wonderful week. At the opening service Hubert was asked to come up and share his thoughts. This was a great opportunity to talk about how God cares for and loves us.

The Friday was a great and vibrant day! We had a children’s art and craft table set up which was a great hit. The kids loved it. The balloons, the shiny foam shapes, and the colour in wooden bear were all favorites (I think my favorite was the bear too!) I remember in particular one little boy of around 3 who was not sure how to use the textas. When he realised he could, his face lit up, and he was so excited with the marks he had made on the wooden bear. It was beautiful.


             Children’s Table at NAIDOC


The dancing was unique and I have never seen anything like it. I liked the Hula girls and the way they dance is something I definitely cannot do! The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have such a beautiful culture; everyone should really learn more about it.

We also made a pot (VERY LARGE) of pumpkin soup. Something about pumpkin soup here on Palm everyone loves. This is strange as it is so warm but for the locals anything below 24 degrees is freezing cold!

NAIDOC for us was a great time of learning and interaction. We are really enjoying getting to know the people and their history. Let’s make it a national holiday!

A Little bit about NAIDOC Week thanks to

“National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee) Week is an Australian observance lasting from the first Sunday in July until the following Sunday. NAIDOC Week celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.” (1)

It is a week which originally started as a protest against the treatment of indigenous Australians and was a protest against Australia Day. It was called the ‘Day of Mourning’.


One of the first major civil rights gatherings in the world was on Australia Day 1938. The protesters marched through the streets of Sydney, which was then followed by congress attended by over one thousand people.
It was known as the Day of Mourning.

After the congress there was increased desire for the ‘Day of Mourning’ to be a regular annual event.

1940 – 1955

From 1940 until 1955, the Day of Mourning was held annually on the Sunday before Australia Day and was known as Aborigines Day. In 1955 Aborigines Day was shifted to the first Sunday in July after it was decided the day should become not simply a protest day but also a celebration of Aboriginal culture.

1956 – 1990

Major Aboriginal organisations, state and federal governments, and a number of church groups all supported the formation of, the National Aborigines Day Observance Committee (NADOC). At the same time, the second Sunday in July became a day of remembrance for Aboriginal people and their heritage.

In 1972, the Department of Aboriginal Affairs was formed, as a major outcome of the 1967 referendum.

In 1974, the NADOC committee was composed entirely of Aboriginal members for the first time. The following year, it was decided that the event should cover a week, from the first to second Sunday in July.

In 1984, NADOC asked that National Aborigines Day be made a national public holiday, to help celebrate and recognise the rich cultural history that makes Australia unique. While this has not happened, other groups have echoed the call.

1991 – Present

With a growing awareness of the distinct cultural histories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, NADOC was expanded to recognise Torres Strait Islander people and culture. The committee then became known as the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC). This new name has become the title for the whole week, not just the day. Each year, a theme is chosen to reflect the important issues and events for NAIDOC Week.

During the mid-1990s, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) took over the management of NAIDOC until ATSIC was disbanded in 2004-05.

There were interim arrangements in 2005. Since then a National NAIDOC Committee, until recently chaired by former Senator Aden Ridgeway, has made key decisions on national celebrations each year. The National NAIDOC Committee has representatives from most Australian states and territories.

Church on Palm Island

Church on Palm Island

Some of you may be wondering what our Saturdays look like?

It is a rather busy day with lots of little feet and voices (big ones too!) filling the jail. Every Saturday we turn the old prison into a place of worship and enter wholeheartedly into setting people free. It’s a day of singing, praying, and eating. A day where we endeavour to empower the people here in the knowledge that they are of great importance and they can be instruments of change!

Today Martha volunteered to do the greeting and tell a little of her week. Later on, a little girl called MJ read her favorite verse in (John 3vs 16). Following this Hubert presented a short message on this exact verse. The power of love and how we can be thankful to God in the good times and the bad. Some singing, a powerful video, and the mission story wrap it up. A simple prayer follows and now it’s time for lunch preparation.

Lunch preparation and the following lunch are always well looked forward to with the kids being able to enjoy hands on helping. A favorite is a flat bread that almost all the children know how to make. Then lunch (and subsequently dessert) are complete and it’s time for a walk. Or a visit to the beach, depending on the weather.

At the finish, with tired happy children, we drop them all home and look forward to next week…

Horse Float?

Horse Float?

More news for you all!

We have had a horse float donated to the organization that we work for. A rather old bedraggled looking thing but hopefully still somewhat repairable.

So why would we even want this? It is exciting…let me explain…

We have been on the lookout for something on Palm Island to convert to a cafe or food van. As there were no options for a cafe (very difficult to rent anything on Palm) the next thing was to look into food vans. This horse float was the perfect thing to start with, and with a generous gesture (and a little bit of persuasion) it was donated. Its tires are flat, there are holes in the roof and the back gate has been burnt by some adventurous children but it is a beginning.

Now, we are not quite sure where to start! So please if you have Ideas, friends with knowledge, have done this before, know where to source supplies to, let us know and we will be truly thankful!


Noodle’s Raw Muesli Bars

Noodle’s Raw Muesli Bars

Anyone fancy a raw muesli bar? If you are quick you may find some in the yr 5’s freezer at the Bwgcolman community school. It’s awesome to be teaching the children about the 8 laws of health. I have been making it memorable by using the acronym RAW DATES. (Rest, Air, Water, Diet, Abstain, Trust, Exercise, Sunshine)

Today was fun. The children have been on holidays for the last 2 weeks and we have been away so it has been over one month since I have seen most of them. It was a 1:30 start, an afternoon class and as mentioned previously, it was fun but also extremely noisy. The children were in afternoon mode and I think I now understand what teachers go through every afternoon!


With everything I do it has to be quick, to the point, simple and easy to make in a classroom setting. Today was a raw muesli bar recipe. We were focusing on packaging and learning how to read and understand ingredients list. During this we spoke about mono sodium glutamate and hydrogenated oils (we were using peanut butter). Each of the children made their own packaging. Then we made some muesli bars…It was messy but we completed it and they loved it!

Anyone for a recipe?

2 cups of uncle Toby’s rolled oats
1/2 cup of desiccated coconut
1/2 cup of honey
1/2 cup of peanut butter
1/2 cup of currants
1/2 cup of pepitas/sunflower seeds
2 pinches of salt

Mix dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients. Press firmly into lined tin. Cut desired shapes. Can be eaten immediately but is much better after being placed in a freezer for at least 1 hr. Enjoy!