NAIDOC Week celebrates the rich history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC stands for National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Day Observance Committee and the acronym has become commonly known throughout Australia as a weeklong celebration. Each year, NAIDOC Week is expressed through a theme and this year's is, "BECAUSE OF HER, WE CAN!" It celebrates the achievements of Indigenous women as leaders, trailblazers and advocates for change. you too can commemorate the oldest living culture in the world, with events around Brisbane from Sunday 8 July to Sunday 15 July. Check out the NAIDOC website for all the up-to-date news, events and resources. The website lists events and organisations all over Australia, which are strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. Events range from indigenous film screenings to picnics, art exhibitions to workshops, from storytelling to children's arts and crafts.
Songwoman Maroochy Barambah of the Turrbal People (image by May Cross)
NAIDOC Launch in King George Square
Don't miss the Brisbane NAIDOC Week launch in King George Square on Monday 9 July from 11.00 am to 3.00 pm. The timing is perfect for school holidays. It is FREE and oriented around family fun. There really is something for everyone at this fun day when families and local communities can come together as one to celebrate our unique and diverse Indigenous culture in Queensland.
The Musgrave Park Family Fun Day Come to Musgrave Park, South Brisbane on Friday 13 July from 9.00 am to 5:00 pm to celebrate NAIDOC Week. The Musgrave Park Family Fun Day has become the single largest celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture during NAIDOC Week and the flagship of all NAIDOC celebrations in Brisbane, so don't miss out on South East Queensland's largest NAIDOC Week festival with children's activities, face painting, live performances and much more. I went last year and although it was a wet day, it was still held and the weather certainly didn't stop thousands of families from having fun. The venue is Musgrave Park, 91 Cordelia Street, in South Brisbane and is very easy to get to by public transport - both trains and buses. Entry is by gold coin donation.
Other NAIDOC Family Fun Days Inala NAIDOC Family Fun Day is on Wednesday 11 July from 10.00 am to 2.00 pm in Richlands. Other community and family fun days are also happening at Taigum, South Brisbane, Acacia Ridge and Wynnum. Again, please see the NAIDOC website for details of events in your local area.
Library Activities for Children Brisbane City Libraries are hosting lots of special FREE events in many of the local libraries including children's storytime which celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. The stories are ideal for children aged 2 to 5 years old:
Inala on Monday 9 July from 11.00 am to 12.00 noon.
Annerley on Monday 9 July from 3.30 pm to 4.15 pm.
Zillmere on Tuesday 10 July from 2.30 pm to 3.30 pm.
Brisbane Square Library on 11 July from 11.00 pm to 11.30 pm.
Sandgate on 12 July from 9.30 pm to 10.00 am.
Ashgrove on 13 July from 10.30 am to 11.30 am.
Nunukal Dancers (image by May Cross)
Weaving Circle with Aunty Edna Billy Aunty Edna Billy will host a Torres Strait Island Weaving Circle at several Brisbane libraries. You can learn new skills and listen to stories from the Torres Straits. Participants will learn how to weave with natural fibres and you can take home what you make. These sessions are suitable for adults and young people aged over 12.
Banyo on 7 July from 10.30 am to 12.30 pm.
Brisbane Square Library from 1.00 pm to 3.00 pm.
Wynnum on 14 July from 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm.
Carindale on 21 July from 1.00 pm to 3.00 pm
Weapons and Artifacts (image by May Cross)
Traditional Stories with Craig Kemp Craig Kemp draws on 25 years' experience working as a cultural facilitator for a light-hearted, educational and comedic cultural immersion, including providing a traditional weapon and artefact demonstration and indigenous stories. Think nulla nulla, and bull roarer as well as spears and boomerangs. During NAIDOC week you can see him at West End Library on 12 July from 10.00 to 11.00 am.
1. Don't miss this film if you are a film buff: 10 Canoes. This award-winning film from Rolf De Heer which is narrated by famous actor and dancer David Gulpilil (remember Crocodile Dundee?) and is based on an ancient story from the Yolngu People of Arnhem Land. The film is screening at various libraries during Black History Month:
Sunnybank Hills on Saturday 7 July from 1.00 pm to 3.30pm.
Bracken Ridge on Saturday 14 July from 11.00am to 12.30 pm.
Brisbane Square Library on Friday 20 July from 5.00 pm to 7.00 pm.
2. This film was a huge commercial hit: The Sapphires starring the wonderfully multi-talented Jessica Mauboy. Check it out in an open-air screening on Monday 9 July from 4.30 pm at QUT Kelvin Grove Campus. There will also be a panel there including Aunty Lois Peeler (one of the original "Sapphires"). There will be coffee and food trucks there, so you can make a whole movie night of it. Bring your own seats and remember to dress warmly for the chilly evening.
Detail from James Hurley's Reconciliation (image by May Cross)
Urban Dreaming Exhibition This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Urban Dreaming Exhibition. The Launch is on Friday 7 July from 12.30 pm to 2.00 pm in Inala. At the Exhibition, you will have a chance to see a collection of artwork showcasing the talents of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists throughout July. the venue is Inala Elders, 79 - 91 Poinsettia Street, Inala. July is Black History Month and NAIDOC week falls during this month-long commemoration of the unique role that Indigenous culture plays in linking people to their land and water and in the transmission of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, spirituality and rites, through art, story, dance and song.
Whichway – Sharing through Song Brisbane Powerhouse will be the venue for Whichway – Sharing through Song, on Saturday 7 July from 5.00 pm to 7.30 pm. The "Whichway Aunty and Uncle project brings together a prolific group of First Nation performers who will share stories, wisdom, experiences and memories." The performers will yarn and weave together the evening through voices harmonising some of the most well-known Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander songs, accompanied by a band of talented musicians.
In 1991 with a growing awareness of the distinct cultural histories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, NADOC was expanded to recognise Torres Strait Islander people and culture. The committee then became known as the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC). This new name has become the title for the whole week, not just the day. Each year, a theme is chosen to reflect the important issues and events for NAIDOC Week.
Those whose lose dreaming are lost. (Aboriginal Proverb)