National NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia in the first week of July each year for one week to celebrate and recognise the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for all Australians to learn about First Nations cultures and histories and participate in celebrations of the oldest, continuous living cultures on earth.
National NAIDOC Week’s premiere event is the National NAIDOC Week Awards Ceremony which showcases Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander excellence.
The Buttery’s Reconciliation Action Plan Committee (RAP Committee) submitted three individuals for NAIDOC awards including: Dr Judy Atkinson for the Lifetime Achievement Award, Aneika Kapeen for the Caring for Country and Culture Award and Kaiden Powell for the Creative Talent Award. Although these individuals weren’t successful in their respective nominations, we want to share some of their incredible story with you. First up, here’s a little bit about Kaiden Powell.
Kaiden Powell is a proud Wiradjuri man. He is a former participant at The Buttery. Kaiden created the artwork for The Buttery’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) document.
Since attending The Buttery, Kaiden has had a rich and varied career as a counsellor, touring speaker and artist. He has toured internationally with the National Indigenous Soccer team.
Kaiden is the founder and director of Changing the Odds, an organisation that delivers art therapy programs to individuals and organisations. He was a counsellor at Namatjira Haven Drug and Alcohol Healing centre before launching his own business touring to schools and universities, where he shares his inspirational story of adversity and recovery.
In 2021, Kaiden collaborated with Australian activewear brand, Muscle Nation, to celebrate NAIDOC Week’s theme, Heal Country. The partnership released a limited edition charity t-shirt that featured Kaiden’s artwork. The artwork symbolised community with different colours representing diversity and various cultural backgrounds coming together. 100% of t-shirt sales were distributed between several charities, including NAIDOC and First Nations community organisations.
Among other things, Kaiden has designed limited edition clothing and a race suit for Indigenous youth moto riders. Individuals’ status as inspirational role models for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the broader Australian community and/ or the individuals goals and their likely impact.