First Peoples' information

NAIDOC Week 8-15 November 2020

This year’s NAIDOC week theme of Always Was, Always Will Berecognises that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for more than 65,000 years..

This country was criss-crossed by generations of brilliant Nations.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were Australia’s first explorers, first navigators, first engineers, first farmers, first botanists, first scientists, first diplomats, first astronomers and first artists.

Australia has the world’s oldest oral stories. The First Peoples engraved the world’s first maps, made the earliest paintings of ceremony and invented unique technologies.

Always Was, Always Will Be. acknowledges that hundreds of Nations and cultures covered this continent. All were managing the land - the biggest estate on earth - to sustainably provide for their future.

NAIDOC Week 2020 Youth Story Competition

Growing up Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander in Cairns: Your story, your way

  • Do you have a deadly story to share?
  • Are there things you think the leaders of our city should know about growing up in Cairns?

We want to hear from high school students about what it's like to grow up in Cairns. Share your story with your community and your council leaders for a chance to win a $200 prize.

Prizes will be awarded in three categories:

  • Main prize (open to years 7-12) - $200 Cairns Central voucher
  • Runner-up, Junior - years 7-9 - $100 Cairns Central voucher
  • Runner-up, Senior - years 10-12 - $100 Cairns Central voucher

Your story can be written, spoken or filmed. The winning entry will be shared with the Cairns community and Council at a meeting during NAIDOC week.

  • Written  (400-1000 words, typed in 12-point Ariel font and double spaced)
  • Spoken (2- 5 minutes long and supplied on a USB in MP3 format)
  • Filmed (2-5 minutes long and supplied on a USB in MP4 format)

To enter, you must:

  • be a Cairns resident
  • identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • be attending a high school in the Cairns region (be going to school in years 7 - 12)
  • Fill in the entry form and submit your story by email, post or in person.
EmailBy mailIn person

SUBJECT: NAIDOC Week story Competition

NAIDOC Week Story Competition,
Community Services,
PO Box 359 Cairns Qld 4870

NAIDOC Week Story Competition,
Community Services,
Council Chambers
119-145 Spence Street, Cairns
Entries close 4pm Monday 26 October.

Questions? Please phone 40443568 or email

Additional terms and conditions in the entry form. Download the entry form.

Australia's First Peoples

Australia's First Peoples are represented by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have different and distinct languages, histories and cultures.  Read more about the culture and history of the First Peoples of the Cairns area.

Cairns Regional Council respects the First Peoples who are the Bama – the Aboriginal rainforest people who are traditional custodians/owners of the lands that cover our region. We also acknowledge other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who call our region home.

All Council services, programs and information are available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to use so that they can participate fully in community life. It is Council's commitment to provide services and opportunities that are respectful and accessible to all members of our community.

Our Council was one of the first local governments in Queensland to have developed a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). This RAP forms the base of our commitment to help strengthen and build relationships and understanding between First Peoples and non-indigenous people within our organisation and throughout our region.

The First People's Advisory Committee (FPAC) meets several times a year to provide comment, feedback and direction on issues relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their communities to Council.  FPAC provides an opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of the Cairns local government area to be part of a key group contributing to make a difference.

Council also seeks to create and provide opportunities that support and improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Funding opportunity

Community groups, organisations and associations are invited to submit an application to access up to $4000 to help with events held as part of NAIDOC Week 2019 (7 - 14 July).

NAIDOC Week grant round is open to Not for Profit Community groups and individuals who wish to create an event that celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

NAIDOC Week events, activities and programs should align with the National NAIDOC Theme: VOICE.TREATY.TRUTH’. This year’s theme is in alignment with ‘United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages’ which aims to promote and protect Indigenous languages and improve the lives of those who speak them.

Successful grants will be funded to a minimum amount of $400 and a maximum amount of $4000.

Application forms can be found at

Applicants are encouraged to contact the Community Services Unit on 4044 3095 or to discuss their application prior to submission.

National Reconciliation Week

Cairns Regional Council is proud to support the annual celebration of both NAIDOC and National Reconciliation Week activities and events throughout the region.

NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.  The week is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and support our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.  NAIDOC originally stood for 'National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee'.  This committee was once responsible for organising national activities during NAIDOC Week and its acronym has since become the name of the week itself.

National Reconciliation Week (NRW) celebrated between 27 May to 3 June each year,  is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey - the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision respectively.

You can find out more information by visiting the NAIDOC and Reconciliation Australia websites.

Last updated: 11 November 2020