Reflecting on the history of National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week

Neville Naden - Indigenous Ministry Officer

Little is said of the Christian influence in getting justice for Aboriginal people and establishing such activities as National Reconciliation and NAIDOC [1] weeks.

Two men who were instrumental in leading the way and working for justice were William Cooper and Sir Doug Nicholls.   

William Cooper, a Yorta Yorta man converted to Christianity, at Daniel and Janet Matthews’ Maloga mission on the Murray River.

Later in life he mentored Sir Doug Nicholls who also became a follower of Christ. Sir Doug Nicholls became the pastor of an AEF church in Melbourne. He later became the Governor of S.A.

To read more about William Cooper and to watch a video of Sir Doug Nicholl’s life, click on the coloured links below.

William Cooper – A tribute to influential Australian Christians

The incredible story of Sir Doug Nicholls - Amnesty International Australia

This National Reconciliation Week, let me encourage you to take a journey down memory lane and discover the leaders of influence and their Christian conviction to get Justice for this people. [2]

National Reconciliation Week 27 May – 3 June 2021
NAIDOC Week 4–11 July 2021 


[1] The acronym NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. It has its roots in the 1938 Day of Mourning, becoming a week-long event in 1975. NAIDOC Week celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


[2] History | NAIDOC