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Published June 18th 2017
Celebrate the rich cultures of our First Nations' people
Taking place on 2-9 July, NAIDOC Week in Sydney will host a variety of activities, events, markets and workshops that celebrate the cultures of indigenous people in Australia.
NAIDOC Week recognises our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and this year the theme is Our Languages Matter. The theme was chosen to explore the significance of indigenous languages and how the use of story telling and song have provided a valuable connection to identity, history, and spirituality.
Although there are approx. 120 known language groups in Australia today, it is estimated that as many as 250 groups existed in the 18th century. Take part in NAIDOC Week in July to discover more about indigenous language and become immersed in the oldest cultures in the world.
Some of the main highlights of NAIDOC Week are listed below. For more information, visit www.naidoc.org.au
The Blak Markets sells indigenous arts, crafts, textiles and homewares. From handwoven baskets, paintings to clap sticks and shell necklaces, you're bound to find something authentic and unique.
The markets are organised by First Hand Solutions, an organisation that is proactively working to help close the gap among indigenous people through education and community programs.
The outdoor marketplace will also provide the opportunity to experience traditional methods of painting and weaving. Language and culture workshops and bush tucker demonstrations will round out the day.
MCA NAIDOC Week Free Film Program
3 - 6 July The Rocks, Sydney City
The Museum of Contemporary Art will be hosting a series of free film screenings during NAIDOC Week. Being held each day at 12.30pm, visitors can see films such as Buckskin, a documentary about Jack Buckskin who became the sole teacher of his ancestors' language. In order to prevent the language from becoming extinct, Jack tries to share the language to as many people as he can, and in the process, helps instil hope and a sense of identity in the young people he is teaching.
The MCA will also be holding a reading with poet and activist Keery Reed Gilbert and a forum on the impact of teaching indigenous languages. View information on all events at www.mca.com.au/series/naidoc-week
Venture into the city for a day of music, dance, food and art. Hyde Park will be playing host to the event that will be celebrating indigenous culture through storytelling, workshops and bush tucker. Be inspired by the music and dance performances and the colourful art and crafts, while the kids participate in sports, art and language workshops. An earth oven will be built to demonstrate a traditional cooking practice that involves steaming and roasting food using hot rocks.
Count Us Together Exhibition Customs House and Redfern Community Centre
12 June - 28 July
Fifty years ago, Australia held a referendum to change the constitution to remove two references that discriminated against Aboriginal people. It garnered the highest amount of support than any Australian referendum, just over 90% of voters. Learn about the activists who helped bring about this monumental change through this collection of images and materials. Entry is free.
Inner City NAIDOC Family Sports Day
Friday 7 July, 12pm-8pm
This jam-packed day for the family will be held in Redfern at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE). Having been held for over 20 years, it has grown into a well-loved event on the NAIDOC Week calendar.
There will be plenty on offer for everyone to enjoy. Bring along your joggers and take part in the sports, competitions and games on offer or relax and watch the local entertainment in the talent quest. There will also be stalls to peruse and free rides to conquer. And if that's not enough, there will also be a free barbeque to bring everyone back together.
Entry is free, gold coin donations will be accepted. Find out more: ncie.org.au
Saturday 8 July, 1pm-7pm
Parramatta will be celebrating its Aboriginal history with a day filled with performances, markets, games and traditional food. Performers will include the Wagana Aboriginal Youth Dancers, the Green Hand Band and Vic Simms. The headline act will be Benny Walker, a contemporary singer who has seen recent success for his authentic and soulful sound. There will also be ochre face painting, art and craft workshops and fireworks to finish.
For further details, visit the event page on Facebook
The Living Traditions of Aboriginal Astronomy and Navigation Saturday 15 July, 7pm-9pm
The Penrith Observatory will be holding an Astronomy Night that will explore indigenous people's connection with the sky and constellations. Aborigines have used the sky and stars to navigate, tell time and the time of year. This knowledge has been retained in stories and songs for elders to pass on to younger generations. The Astronomy Night hosted by Professor Ray Norris will include a viewing using a range of telescopes, a short 3D movie and a tour of the dome area.
Glebe NAIDOC Community Day Friday 30 June, 11.30am-2pm
Glebe Public School will be running their annual event at the end of June. Celebrate indigenous culture with music, food, art, language and dance. Free entry. Visit Glebe Treehouse on Facebook for information: www.facebook.com/GlebeTreehouse
NAIDOC Cafe in Coogee Tuesday 4 July, 10am-4pm
Come to the St Nicholas Church to listen to the Aboriginal choir, hear from guest speakers and view cultural artefacts and paintings. www.naidoc.org.au/event/naidoc-cafe-0
NAIDOC Week in Campbelltown Monday 3 July, 9.30am-3pm
Start your Monday morning with a special flag raising ceremony and morning tea at Campbelltown City Council Civic Centre. Then participate in a street march and the Community Celebration Day at Bradbury Oval. www.campbelltown.nsw.gov.au/WhatsOn/NAIDOCWeek2017
Weaving Bridges Project Launch in Queenscliff Tuesday 4 July, 10.30am-12.30pm
The Weaving Bridges project is an annual artwork installation on Stuart Somerville Bridge contributed by members of the community. The project's launch will include a smoking ceremony, entertainment and a didgeridoo performance. This event forms part of the Guringai Festival. View the event details on Facebook