This year’s NAIDOC Week theme is a call to action – Get up! Stand up! Show up!
Co-chair of the National NAIDOC Committee John Paul Janke says it’s both a rallying cry and a celebration of those who took a stand in the past.
“It goes back to our very first frontier warriors and leaders through to those who fought for basic human rights from the 1920s and 30s, up until the 1967 referendum and through the 70s and 80s and 90s,” he explains.
“It’s also a call to both the Indigenous and non-Indigenous community to really put some meat on the bone and say ‘let’s get some real action’.”
NAIDOC Week runs from 3 July to 10 July, with activities and events right across the country.
While the week remains rooted in its origins in the Aboriginal civil rights movement of the 1930s, the event has evolved to become a celebration and sharing of culture.
“For Aboriginal people, it will always be seen as a moment of protest dating back to the 1938 Day of Mourning,” explains John Paul.
“From the 70s and 80s it became a showcase of our cultural and physical survival but for a lot of Aboriginal people now it’s an invitation to the wider community to join us in celebrating Aboriginal people, history and culture, and having conversations about the aspirations of First Nations communities.”
NAIDOC celebrations feature numerous events across Canberra showcasing talented First Nations artists and performers. This year the celebration will include a range of activities from music to art and storytelling for everyone to enjoy. Here are some of the highlights:
When: Wednesday 6 July, 7 pm to 10 pm
Where: Cinema at Kambri Cultural Centre
Cost: Free. Book your ticket here.
From Wednesday 6 to Sunday, July 10, Kambri will host a free First Nations Film Festival, held in conjunction with the ANU Film Group. The Festival was created to celebrate and elevate the contributions and stories of First Nations creatives. For more information about the festival program, visit the event page.
When: Thursday 7 July, 12 pm
Where: Forestry fire pit, Linnaeus Way – Acton
Join Ngunnawal Elder Wally Bell beside the fire pit and listen to him share stories and enlighten people about Indigenous history.
When: Tuesday 5 July, from 10:45 am to 2 pm
Where: Woden Town Square and Woden Library
Cost: Free. More information about the event here.
Celebrate NAIDOC week in the Woden Town Square. The day will include musicians, art workshops, stalls, yummy food, and guest speakers.
When: Monday 4 July, Wednesday 6 July, and Friday 8 July 3 pm to 3:30 pm
Where: The National Library of Australia Theatre
Join the National Library at their theatre to watch stories of those who have lived ‘Get up! Stand up! Show up!’ These screenings are available courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive and their wonderful Black Screen initiative.
No bookings are required to attend the screenings – just show up and enjoy! Each screening runs for about 30 minutes.
When: Sunday 3 July, 6 pm
Where: National Museum of Australia
Cost: $28/$49. Get your tickets here.
Hand to Earth is a beautiful invitation to share culture and learn from each other. Musician Daniel Wilfred and Korean jazz vocalist Sunny Kim will collaborate with the Australian Art Orchestra. The raw, elemental vocal gestures of Sunny, singing in both Korean and English, are combined with Daniel’s transmissions of ancient knowledge.
When: Sunday 3 July, 12 pm to 3 pm
Where: The Link Building, 1 McClymont Way
Cost: Free. Register here.
Join the Ginninderry community and Ginninderry Conservation Trust for an interactive workshop on plant use and a bush food cooking demonstration with Yurbay chef Adam Shipp. Take part in a rock painting activity with local artist Leah Brideson.
When: Saturday 9 July, 3 pm to 5 pm
Where: Cornerstone Pub, 51 Hinder Street Gungahlin
Dale Robert Huddleston is a renowned singer, songwriter, and artist. He plays the guitar and the didgeridoo and has released five albums. Huddleston has been performing since 1989 and has played over 1500 shows supporting the likes of Jimmy Little, Yothu Yindi, Troy Cassar-Daley, Archie Roach, Shane Howard, and Mental as Anything. Joining him will be Alinta Barlow, an emerging Ngunnawal performer who dazzled the crowds at the National Folk Festival this year.
When and where: Friday, 8 July, 10:30 am | Gungahlin Library – Saturday, 9 July, 10:30 am | Belconnen Library – Friday, 15 July, 10:30 am | Woden Library
Join Larry Brandy as he brings his award-nominated book Wiradjuri Country to life during NAIDOC Week. Larry is a Wiradjuri man who is passionate about his culture. He involves the children in his performance as they become kangaroos, emus, and hunters and learn about the traditional Wiradjuri culture.
When: Saturday, 9 July, from 1 pm to 4 pm
Where: Woden Library
Cost: $20 per person. More information here.
Dilly Purses is a weaving workshop with Wiradjuri, Yorta Yorta, and Kamilaroi artist Angela J.P Firebrace. Participants learn traditional weaving techniques by creating a Dilly Purse by combining natural fibres, coloured raffia and integrating found objects: gum nuts, feathers, and sticks. Angela has worked alongside traditional Ngunnawal custodians and other organisations in Canberra, Gilgandra, and the nation, learning and teaching the art of traditional coil basket weaving, jewellery making, and children’s cultural activities.
When: Thursday 7 July, from 12 pm to 3 pm, and Saturday 9 July, from 9:30 am to 12 pm
Where: National Museum of Australia
Cost: $20 / $25. Book here.
Join Adam Shipp (Wiradjuri) of Yurbay Consultancies for a seasonal tour of the National Museum’s Christina and Trevor Kennedy Garden, a living museum of Indigenous food and medicine plants. Experience the sights and scents of the season with Adam as he shares his passion for native plants. At the end of each tour, guests can sample some of the flavours found in the Forecourt Garden and around Canberra.