This week is NAIDOC week and the theme for this year is, ‘Always Was Always Will Be’.
The first two things that come to mind when thinking of this theme are the power of country and the power of First Nations peoples who descend from country.
NAIDOC week was born out of a day of protest and is now a time for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to come together and be surrounded by our families and communities to celebrate our cultures and our survival.
This year’s NAIDOC theme allows for us to highlight that our sovereignty has never been ceded and that we have and continue to survive attempted genocide.
Watch: The Stolen Generations: why I can't 'get over it'. Post continues below.
When reading the words ‘Always Was Always Will Be’, I can almost instantly hear the voices of my people chanting these words in the streets, at rallies and wherever else needed. ‘Always Was Always Will Be’ is a phrase we paint on banners and wear proudly on clothing across our chest.
You will always hear the echoes of this phrase ring loudly from the mouths of our grassroots people fighting for justice on the frontline. One place on the frontline of the fight to protect is Djab Wurrung Country, in south-west Victoria.
Djab Wurrung peoples have been protecting sacred women’s country from the Victorian government's Western Highway Duplication Project for over two years. It has been 870 days since the Djab Wurrung Heritage Protection Embassy was established by Djab Wurrung women.
The Djab Wurrung Heritage Protection Embassy grew from a little blue tent to a fully functioning place for frontline warriors to survive the bitterly cold winter and the boiling hot summers. It is has become a place of learning, connecting and uniting to protect.