NAIDOC Week a time to celebrate Indigenous culture

Wiradjuri man Djali Bloomfield is a well-known and valued member of the cricket community in Canberra.

Djali is a member of the Weston Creek Molonglo Cricket Club, has played at the representative level locally, been a member of the Australian Indigenous Squad and is also a member of the Cricket ACT Aboriginal Advisory Committee.

Outside of cricket Djali is the Founder and Managing Director of ArrowFM and has more than ten years' experience in the commercial electrical industry. 

Djali is committed to providing outstanding customer service and building ArrowFM in order to provide opportunities for Indigenous people.

We spoke with Djali in the lead up to NAIDOC Week and asked him a few questions around what NAIDOC Week means to him and how important it is to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 

What does NAIDOC Week mean to you and how important are events like NAIDOC Week in celebrating First Nations culture?

"NAIDOC Week to me is a celebration of Indigenous culture. It allows everyone to celebrate the contribution of Indigenous Australians to our country whether it be through sport, art or contributions within the community."

This year's theme is 'Keep the fire burning! Black, loud and proud'. Can you tell us how you can relate to this theme and the importance of this theme to you?

"Off the back of the referendum result last year I think it shows Australia as a country still has a way to go to accept Indigenous history within our country. It’s not just up to Indigenous people but also non-Indigenous people to keep pushing for recognition as well as highlighting instances of inequity."

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 24: Djali Bloomfield of the PM's XI looks on during the tour match between Prime Ministers XI and Sri Lanka at Manuka Oval on October 24, 2019 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

How important was your culture to you growing up and now as an adult with young children yourself?

"While I was aware of my Indigenous heritage from a young age, culture probably wasn’t a huge part of my life.

"I was born in Nhulunbuy in the Northern Territory and moved down to Wagga Wagga when I was very young.

"I have a strong connection with Arnhem Land as I was named after an Elder within the community up there but our family hails from Darlington Point on Wiradjuri Country.

"As I reached my teenage years, I took more interest and am grateful for the opportunities I’ve had, mostly through sport, to not only explore my own heritage but also learn about other areas."

What are some of the key parts of your First Nations culture that you apply in life every day and that you'd like more non-Indigenous Australians to know about and understand?

"Running a business, we always try to utilise other Indigenous businesses where we can as there is a far greater likelihood that Indigenous businesses employ Indigenous people.

"With my 3 girls and my partner, I try to incorporate Aboriginal language into everyday conversation where I can, to teach them some of the words that they can use."

What would you advise others in our community to do to learn and gain a greater understanding of First Nations culture?

"All Indigenous artwork has a story and I encourage people when they see Indigenous art to actually read about the story that goes with the piece. The other thing is knowing the region you live in, for example Canberra being Ngunnawal Country. Or even if you go somewhere on holidays, finding out about the local mob which can be an education piece for everyone."

For more information about NAIDOC Week and Canberra activities during NAIDOC Week, please visit the NAIDOC and or ACT Government websites'.

* Thanks to Luke Hickey, Weston Creek Molonglo Cricket Club for the banner image of Djali Bloomfield in action



Principal Partner

Platinum Partner