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NAIDOC Week 2020

NAIDOC Week commemorations are held across Australia each year to acknowledge the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The week is an opportunity for visitors to enjoy activities on the Island and support the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island community.

This year NAIDOC Week runs from Sunday 8 to Sunday 15 November and the theme for the week is ‘Always Was, Always Will Be'. This theme recognises that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years.

The traditional name for Rottnest Island in the Noongar language is Wadjemup, which means 'place of spirits'. We encourage you to take time during your next visit to Wadjemup to learn more about the cultural significance of this place to the Whadjuk Noongar People.

Wadjemup Cup
Saturday 7 November
Spectators are welcome for the 14th annual Wadjemup Cup AFL round robin competition on Saturday 7 November, from 8:30am – 3pm on the Sports Oval. Find more information on this free event here.

Yarn Bombing
Sunday 8 – Sunday 15 November 
The Kookaburra Club, a group of senior Noongar and Aboriginal women from across the State, will be designing and creating a colourful display of Yarn Bombing in the Thomson Bay Settlement, located outside the Visitor Centre.

Over the last three decades, the Kookaburra Club have developed artworks such as these that are significant to their culture and that reference their childhood experiences growing up on missions, camps, and reserves.

Wadjemup Bidi
The Wadjemup Bidi is a network of walk trails, made up of five sections and spanning 45 kilometres across the island. Interpretive signage provides information and insights along the way, allowing you to learn more about the island's natural features and its cultural history. Choose from five trail sections with a variety of distances to explore. Learn more about the trails here, or pick up a map from the Visitor Centre.

Exhibition – Selected Images from the Quod Project
Lomas Cottage's current exhibition, Selected Images from the Quod Project, is a series of images by WA artist, Tania Ferrier, with the assistance of Fremantle based photographer, James Kerr. Ferrier addresses the mixed history of the Quod, as both a popular holiday resort as well as a site of trauma and imprisonment for Aboriginal people, with images styled to mix these different histories and experiences. Find the opening hours for Lomas Cottage here.

Online Exhibition – alwayswadjemup.com
This digital exhibition was curated by Vanessa Smart, a Nyoongar woman from Manjimup, and Samara King, a Karajarri woman from Broome. Aboriginal people have a strong, deep spiritual connection to Country. Through exploration of the 2020 NAIDOC theme, 'Always Was, Always Will Be' this online exhibition Wadjemup: Koora Wordel, Kalygool Wordel presents an enduring link to a culture that has existed for over 65,000 years and highlights the resilience of Aboriginal people reclaiming culture despite adversity and dispossession. View the online exhibition here.


Nidja Wadjemup, Whadjuk Noongar Boodja.
This is Wadjemup, Whadjuk Noongar Country and we acknowledge the Whadjuk Noongar People as the Custodians of Wadjemup and their continued connection to the island and its waters. We pay our respects to all the Traditional Custodians and Elders of this nation, past, present and emerging. We pay special respect to the men and boys whos’ bodies still rest beneath the sands of Wadjemup, and to their families and descendants who lost them.