Welcome to NAIDOC Week 2023

For Our Elders

The 2023 NAIDOC Week theme was 'For Our Elders'.

Across every generation, our Elders have played, and continue to play, an important role and hold a prominent place in our communities and families.

They are cultural knowledge holders, trailblazers, nurturers, advocates, teachers, survivors, leaders, hard workers, and our loved ones.

So, how did the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle celebrate our Elders and NAIDOC Week last year? Find out by expanding the below. 

During NAIDOC Week, we are also proud to present our Stories from the Elders video series. We interviewed five people from across the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle to share their incredibly emotional stories and wisdom. You can watch each individual video by expanding the first menu below. 



The 2023 NAIDOC Week theme was 'For our Elders', so the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle thought we would invite some Elders from around the east coast of Australia to tell their stories. 

Please note: that some of these stories are unsuitable for people under the age of 15 and they also contain topics that may upset some viewers.

If the content of these videos raise any issues for you, please reach out for support:

Lifeline - 13 11 14

Lifeline’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Crisis Support - 13 YARN (13 92 76)

For a face-to-face counseling appointment, contact The Rosewood Centre on 1800 613 155. 

If your life is in danger call 000




On Sunday 2 July 2023, we hosted a special NAIDOC Week Prayer Service in partnership with the local Anglican Diocese and other Aboriginal and faith communities throughout the Hunter. 

The service involved a Welcome to Country with Aunty Sandra Griffin from Awabakal Country.

It was an opportunity to join with local Elders, including Canon Aunty Di Langham who led us through a special reflection. 

We also conducted a special water ceremony, where guests brought with them a small container of water from country. 

Check out some of the photos below. 




As part of our continued Reconciliation Action Plan journey, the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle and CatholicCare Social Services sponsored a tent at Awabakal LTD's NAIDOC Week celebration in 2023.

As part of the event, staff joined the community at Civic Park for a special flag-raising ceremony before marching to Foreshore Park for a community festival. At our tent, we hosted a number of activities for children and families to enjoy. 

It was a great opportunity for everyone to come together and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.  

Community Event