The National NAIDOC Awards ceremony in Mparntwe (Alice Springs) has been cancelled, due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns.

Scheduled for Saturday 3 July 2021, the Alice Springs NAIDOC Committee and key stakeholders made the decision to cancel this year’s Awards Ceremony, “in light of escalating community concerns and emerging issues about COVID-19.”

In a statement, the Committee said they were devastated to not be able to facilitate the event on Arrernte Country but keeping Mob safe was their number one priority.

“Our first priority is keeping our Elders, our communities and our children safe during these uncertain times. After carefully reviewing the situation, we have decided that the most responsible option for us is to limit travel and large group gatherings in Central Australia which could result in community transmissions which will have devastating impacts on surrounding central desert communities.”

“The decision – while difficult to make – was the right call-in terms of keeping our regions in Central Australia COVID free.”

The Awards are held each year to honour the outstanding contributions that First Nations people make to improve the lives of Indigenous people in their communities and beyond, but unfortunately last year’s Ceremony was also cancelled due to the impacts of the global coronavirus pandemic.

“While the face-to-face event will be cancelled in Mparntwe, the National NAIDOC Committee will still be hosting a nationally televised gala event to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s achievements and cultures. More information will be provided on this shortly.”

“As part of this, the Awards Ceremony component of the event will be moved to a soon to be announced location. Attendance will be restricted noting emerging COVID-19 risks.”

NAIDOC Week will still be held from 4-11 July.