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Free NAIDOC Week Events

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Celebrate NAIDOC Week with the family around Melbourne

naidoc week performance
Photo courtesy of Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet


NAIDOC Week returns in July with events and activities held across Australia. Originally referred as 'National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee', the term 'NAIDOC' has become synonymous with the name of the week itself. Celebrated by the Indigenous communities, this cultural festival is an opportunity for everyone to engage with the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.



Entitled 'Songlines -The living narrative of our nation', this year's theme highlights the strong spiritual and cultural connection to land, sea and country for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It traces the journeys of Indigenous ancestral spirits as they create the land, animals and lores. These dreaming tracks are recorded in traditional songs, stories, dance and art. A variety of programs are organised by government agencies, local councils, schools and communities around Melbourne. Here are some of the FREE events for you and your family to participate and enjoy during NAIDOC Week.

This article acknowledges the traditional custodians of this land, the Wurundjeri people, and pays respects to their elders, past and present.

3 to 5 July - Talkin' Pictures Film Festival

our stories our way everyday documentary
Photo courtesy of Byron Bay Multimedia


Enjoy a series of short documentaries at the Talkin' Pictures Film Festival curated by the Footscray Community Arts Centre (FCAC) and the Melbourne Community Indigenous Film Collective. They celebrate the journeys of Indigenous film makers and document the diversity and complexities of Indigenous story telling being captured in today's cinema. Highlights include Yarnin' Pictures, a beautiful series of Victorian Aboriginal oral histories recorded by local communities and NITV's 'Our Stories, Our Way Everyday'.

Time: 3 July (5pm till late), 4 & 5 July (all day)
Venue: FCAC PORTable Container
Address: 45 Moreland St, Footscray VIC 3011, Australia

3 to 10 July - Reframed Exhibition

incinerator gallery
Photo courtesy of Moonee Valley City Council


Explore what defines Aboriginality in this exhibition curated by Kent Morris. The selected artworks are by Indigenous Australian artists who are reconstructing accepted ideas about history, connection to country and identity through photographic processes. The exhibition will run till 24 July and features works from Paola Balla, Bindi Cole Chocka, Michael Cook, Genevieve Grieves, Dianne Jones, Kent Morris, Steaphan Paton, Steven Rhall, Warwick Thornton, James Tylor, Peter Waples-Crowe, Arika Waulu and Raymond Zada.

Time: 11am - 4pm, Tuesday to Sunday
Venue: Incinerator Gallery
Address: 180 Holmes Rd, Moonee Ponds VIC 3039

3 - 10 July - Young Blood Exhibition

young blood exhibition
Photo courtesy of Schulberg Demkiw Architects


This exhibition of projection installations is produced by Gunai and Gunditjmara visual artist Arika Waulu who works with video, moving and still images. Entitled 'Young Blood', the imageries are inspired by the story of Pemulwuy, an Aboriginal resistance fighter who was killed in 1802 and his preserved head sent to the King of England. Arika invites the public to reflect on the ongoing tragedies lived out today and those lost through the history of continued genocide of Aboriginal people. This exhibition will continue till 9 August.

Time: 9.30am - 5:00pm (Monday to Friday), 10am - 4pm (Saturday)
Venue: FCAC Gabriel Gallery
Address: 45 Moreland St, Footscray VIC 3011, Australia

4 July - Bran Nue Dae

bran neu dae the movie
Photo courtesy of www.if.com.au


Learn more about the Indigenous culture through this 2009 musical comedy drama at Avondale Heights Library. The movie is adapted from the 1990 stage musical Bran Nue Dae by Jimmy Chi and produced in Australia. It stars Jessica Mauboy, Missy Higgins and Ernie Dingo, and tells the story of the coming of age of an Aboriginal Australian teenager in the late 1960s. The film is 82 mins and rated PG. Click here for tickets.

Time: 6pm - 7.30pm
Venue: Avondale Heights Library and Learning Centre
Address: 69-79 Military Rd, Avondale Heights, VIC 3034

5 July - Flag Raising Ceremony

naidoc week flag
Photo courtesy of Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet


This event is hosted by Brimbank City Council and the Department of Health and Human Services to celebrate the culture, history and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples during NAIDOC Week. you and your family can watch the smoking and flag raising ceremony and enjoy live entertainment by Indigenous performers, children's activities and morning tea.

Time: 11am - 12.30pm
Venue: Brimbank City Council
Address: 6-18 Alexandra Avenue, Sunshine VIC 3020

5 July - NAIDOC Week Performance



Head over to Avondale Heights Library for a morning of Indigenous performance with the family. You will meet with traditional dancer and didgeridoo player Dave Edwards from the Nari Nari Yiphia Tribe from the Balranald area of New South Wales. He will be sharing his story and culture. Click here to get your ticket.

Time: 10.30am - 11.30am
Venue: Avondale Heights Library and Learning Centre
Address: 69-79 Military Rd, Avondale Heights, VIC 3034

6 July - NAIDOC Week Storytime

tullamarine library story time
Photo courtesy of Hume City Council


Children ages 3 to 5 years can learn about the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait people during NAIDOC Week through indigenous stories, songs and craft. Click here to reserve your space.

Time: 11am - 11.45am
Venue: Tullamarine Library
Address: 58 Spring St, Tullamarine, VIC 3043

6 July - Keenbundoora Scarred Tree & Heritage Trail and Aboriginal Showcase event

keelbundoora scarred trees
Photo courtesy of Victoria Walks Inc


Join the City of Whittlesea and Ngarara Willim Centre to celebrate NAIDOC Week at the RMIT Bundoora West Campus. The campus is home to 6 scarred trees that are linked to form a heritage trail. You and your family can participate in a guided tour of the Keelbundoora Scarred Tree and Heritage Trail led by by Wurundjeri Elder, Ian Hunter. He will explain the ancient resource harvesting techniques practised by generations of Aboriginal people during the walk. A mural illustrating the Indigenous heritage made by Aboriginal students of the Whittlesea Secondary College and local elders and artists will also be unveiled. Light lunch will be served. Click here to reserve your space.

Time: 10am - 1pm
Venue: RMIT Bundoora West Campus
Address: Plenty Rd, Bundoora VIC 3083, Australia

8 July - NAIDOC Week Campfire



Gather around the Leempeeyt Weeyn' in Federation Square for a NAIDOC Week Campfire with the
Footscray Community Arts Centre. Several prominent Indigenous activists, academics and musicians including Robbie Thorpe, Maylene-Slater-Burns and Maurial Spearim will be sharing their perspectives on the history of Aboriginal political resistance and the potentials of sovereignty and treaty in the Australian context.

Time: 6pm - 8pm
Venue: Federation Square
Address: Corner Swanston St & Flinders St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

15 July - NAIDOC Week Storytime

the age library
Photo courtesy of Hume City Council


NAIDOC Week takes place across the country to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. As part of the celebrations, children ages 3 to 5 years can learn about the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait people through indigenous stories, songs and craft. Click here to register your space.

Time: 11am - 11.45am
Venue: The Age Library
Address: 1093 Pascoe Vale Rd, Broadmeadows VIC 3047, Australia
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Why? Enjoy NAIDOC Week with the family with these free events around Melbourne
When: Refer to article
Where: Various venues around Melbourne
Cost: Free
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