Language, culture, science on NAIDOC Week agenda

Charlotte 7 August 2016

Chief Minister Andrew Barr with the flag-raisers

Have you ever wondered what NAIDOC (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee) Week is all about? Part of it is the presentation of a program of cultural events celebrating the contribution of indigenous Australians to the region and nation. There are seminars, awards ceremonies, exhibitions, sporting events and film screenings to attend and participate in. Lots of them. Thirteen A4 pages worth, to be precise.

This year’s program started yesterday with a flag-raising ceremony at Civic Square. Here are the highlights for today:

At 10.30am today, there will be a seminar on the challenges and successes of bilingual education for indigenous Australians, particularly in remote areas, and with a look at the political impacts of the NAPLAN tests on the program. The seminar will be presented by Dr Jo Caffery in Room A6, Building 2 at the University of Canberra.

At 11am, Marymead will host a BBQ and cultural festival at 255 Goyder Street, Narrabundah. There will be an art exhibition, singing, dancing, music, face painting, food and information stalls and children’s activities. There will also be a human library, where visitors can talk with human library ‘books’ and learn about different life experiences and perspectives.

From 12.30pm to 1.30pm, indigenous staff members at the National Library of Australia Shannon Sutton, John Morseu and Nicolette Suttor will share items from the collection that have special meaning for them.

At 4pm, staff and students of the Heritage, Museums and Collections department of the Faculty of Arts and Design at UC will discuss their research and conservation work on the UC Indigenous Art and Artefact Collection. Room C5, Building 7, University of Canberra.

From 5pm to 7pm, three CSIRO staff members will reflect on and celebrate the contributions Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have made and continue to make in addressing the national science agenda at CSIRO. Stacy Mader, senior experimental scientist in Astronomy and Space Science; Mibu Fischer, research projects officer with Oceans and Atmosphere; and Chantelle Lee, administrative support officer at the Australian Resources Research Centre will share their journeys.

The full program is here.

Pictured above are Chief Minister Andrew Barr (centre) with the flag-raisers at yesterday’s ceremony: from left, Reggie Hobbs, a Torres Strait Islander descendant of the Waanyi and Gawawa people; Belle Whyte, a descendant of the Murawari people of North Western NSW and ANU School of Music student; ACT Indigenous Affairs Minister Chris Bourke; and David Morrison, Australian of the Year 2016. Below, the flag-raising ceremony.

Flag-raising ceremony for NAIDOC Week.

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