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NAIDOC Week in Sydney

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by Vanessa M (subscribe)
I am always looking out for new experiences, wherever I may find myself.

NAIDOC Week celebrates the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee, which grew from the Aboriginal political groups of the 1920s. The event will take place this year between July 1-8, with the theme being Spirit of the Tent Embassy: 40 Years On, in order to recognise the 40th anniversary of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy at Canberra.

To celebrate NAIDOC Week there will be an event titled Under the Beach Umbrella - Spirit of the Tent Embassy taking place at Hyde Park North from 11am to 3pm on July 2. It will feature performances, food stalls, a fashion parade and bush tucker and weaving demonstrations, along with a special Kidz Zone. It is a chance for Sydneysiders to experience the rich culture of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

There will be four areas of entertainment at the event, including the Main Stage, the Dancestry Circle, the Kidz Zone and the Workshop Area. With a number of activities taking place throughout the day at each location there will be something for everyone.

The events begin at 11.20am on the Main Stage, when Triple-J Unearthed singer-songwriter Marcus Corowa will perform his soulful, soothing sound, drawing on his Aboriginal and South Sea Islander roots and his passion for classic RnB. Casey Donovan will also perform on the Main Stage at 1.20pm.

From 11.20am to 2.45pm at the Kidz Zone there will be a range of art activities, a song-writing workshop and a breakdance competition. It is the perfect beginning to the school holidays.

Twice throughout the day, from 11.20am to 12.20pm and from 1.20pm to 2.20pm, there will be a Bush Tucker Talk in the Workshop Area. The talk will be given by Clarence Slockee, the Aboriginal Education Officer from the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust. He will reveal the bush tucker secrets hidden across Sydney's parklands.

Also twice daily, from 11.20am to 12.20pm and 1.20pm to 2.20pm, there will be a Weaving Workshop in the Workshop Area. Here you can learn how to turn native bush materials into baskets and rope. The woven baskets were traditionally used by Indigenous people to carry personal items, tools, medicine and food, while the ropes were used in hunting and fishing.

At midday there will be a Fashion Show hosted by actor Luke Carroll. The parade will take place at the Dancestry Circle and will feature designs from young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander designers, often inspired by cultural designs and the land.

At 12.45pm, Move it Mob Style will host an event at the Dancestry Circle. Move it Mob Style is a dance-based fitness program broadcast on NITV.

If you're looking for music you can listen to, not excercise tom there will also be a performance from pop-folk-jazz duo Tessa Nuku and Brendon Boney (also known as Microwave Jenny). The pair will play at 2.15pm at the Dancestry Circle.

Lastly, at 1.30pm at the Workshop Area you have the opportunity to better understand the Tent Embassy and its cause by listening to the memories and stories of the embassy from elders and others involved in involved in the struggle for recognition.

It is a day full of events and a great chance to better understand Indigenous culture, but if you can't get to Hyde Park, take a look at the NAIDOC website for other events around Sydney and NSW.
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Why? Recognise and celebrate NAIDOC
When: July 2 2012
Where: Hyde Park North
Cost: Free
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