ANTaR ACT – April 2019 bulletin

This month we focus on events around ANZAC Day, thinking of the experience of war for Australia’s First Peoples. This bulletin then covers a significant legal ruling, and finishes with a wide range of events and exhibitions. We hope you find something of interest, and always welcome your feedback, to

From Henry Reynolds on recognition of the Frontier Wars, in the latest edition of Meanjin:
“… how can the war memorial show so little respect or even understanding of the devastating impact of the frontier wars? How can they not care? Perhaps even more pointedly, how can they get away with such heartless insouciance? Do the director and his board think of First Nations people as fellow countrymen and women or not? Are they unable to see that across a century of time and vast stretches of country Aboriginal people fought heroically for their country, their kin and their customs?”
The ninth annual “Lest We Forget the Frontier Wars” Anzac Day march to the Australian War Memorial will assemble at the corner of Anzac Parade and Constitution Avenue from 10 am.

Making Peas/ce
A Reflection Day And Wreath Making Workshop
The Desert Pea – an Aboriginal Flower of Remembrance
ahead of the Anzac Eve Peace Vigil & the Frontier Wars Anzac Day March
Wednesday, 24 April, 11am – 4pm (come for a short time or the whole day)
Free – donations welcome for materials on the day
Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, 15 Blackall Street, Barton
Take part in a guided reflection on healing our land and a floristry workshop. Or simply add your hand-made desert pea to the community ribbon tribute.
Contact : Hazel Davies, or just come.
The Anzac Eve Peace Vigil begins on top of Mt Ainslie at 5.30pm, feel free to connect with this.

ANTaR ACT – May meeting
The next ANTaR ACT will be on Monday 13 May at King O’Malley’s in Civic, 6 – 7.30pm. All are welcome to come along to contribute to our advocacy and other activities. A focus of this meeting will be on events during Reconciliation and NAIDOC Weeks. Any questions or suggestions, please email We’d also welcome help at this time, for stalls and events, so please get in touch if you could assist.

News: Timber Creek decision
In this case, the court has upheld that an amount of compensation is due to the Ngaliwurru and Nungali Peoples in relation to the extinguishment of their non-exclusive native title rights and interests, including for spiritual hurt caused.
ABC report
Further background in the Conversation
High Court official summary

Events coming up

Movie: Top End Wedding
Now showing at Dendy; with special event Wednesday, April 17 at 6pm (Arrival) 6:45pm (Screening) Drink & goody bag on arrival for each guest!
Lauren and Ned are engaged, they are in love, and they have just ten days to find Lauren’s mother who has gone AWOL somewhere in the remote far north of Australia, reunite her parents and pull off their dream wedding.

National Folk Festival
18-22 April, Exhibition Park
A number of First Nations musicians will be part of the National Folk Festival, including:
Gawurra: Gawurra Gaykamangu is a Yolngu professional performing artist hailing from Milingimbi (Yurrwi), North East Arnhem Land. With an emotional and resonant voice, Gawurra’s performances deliver a masterful musical sensitivity.
Mission Songs: Jessie Lloyd’s profoundly moving and important Mission Songs Project reveals what daily life was like for Indigenous Australians on Christian missions and state-run settlements. Through the discovery of rare secular songs that were sung after church, audiences can gain a deeper understanding about the history of elders, families and communities, from cultural identity to love and loss.

Movie: Another Country
Wednesday 8 May, 7.30pm, Capitol Cinemas Manuka, bookings here
Presented by Films for Change Canberra
Legendary Aboriginal actor David Gulpilil has spent his adult life trying to navigate his way through two very different cultures: that of his Yolngu people and that of the colonising Australian culture. In Another Country, he gives us first-hand insight into the confusions and chaos that occur in the clash between these cultures.

The Difference Identity Makes – book launch
Wednesday 22 May, 5:45pm for 6:00pm start
Harry Hartog bookstore, 153 -11 University Avenue, ANU
Free but RSVP required, by 15 May
Through the struggles of Indigenous Australians for recognition and self-determination it has become common sense to understand Australia as made up of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and things. But in what ways is the Indigenous/non-Indigenous distinction being used and understood?
In The Difference Identity Makes, edited by Lawrence Bamblett, Fred Myers and Tim Rowse, thirteen Indigenous and non-Indigenous academics examine how this distinction structures the work of cultural production and how Indigenous producers and their works are recognised and valued.

Reconciliation Day Eve Concert
Sunday 26 May, 6.30pm, bookings here.
Continuing the tradition that started last year, on the eve of the Reconciliation Day public holiday, powerhouse rapper Briggs will return to the stage along with Australian icons Yothu Yindi & The Treaty Project for a celebration of Black Excellence. They will be joined on the evening by Alice Skye and Emily Wurramara for what promises to be a night of power and beauty.

Barbara and the Camp Dogs
30 May – 1 June, Canberra Theatre, bookings here
Part road-story, part family drama, part political cry-from-the-heart, Barbara and the Camp Dogs is a high-octane rock gig featuring the powerhouse duo of Ursula Yovich and Elaine Crombie, and a very sharp band keeping the night alive.
Meet Barbara and her band the Camp Dogs. Barbara’s been trying to make it in Sydney, but this is a tough town for musicians. In all the relentless demands of city life, where’s the sense of belonging she craves? When her mother’s health deteriorates, Barbara and her cousin René hit the road, embarking on a pilgrimage back home to country.

Broginals LIVE
Thursday 6 June, 6pm, Canberra Theatre, bookings here.
BRORIGINALS is a satirical comedy podcast founded in 2018 to answer the question: What does it mean to be a successful Aboriginal in this modern, post colonial, post multicultural, post offensive, post post world. It began with the best selling self help book The Ten Habits of Successful Aboriginals and morphed into a modern day advice show where the two brothers, Travis De Vries and Texas De Vries directly teach Aboriginals and Wuggle (Non-Aboriginal- Non-Magical) listeners who write in answers how to be better Aboriginals and maybe, better humans.


Warnayaka Collection
MANY NATIONS art gallery, in partnership with Winya Indigenous Furniture and Niniji, at Winya’s showroom, Level 1, 15-17 East Row, off London Circuit
To 24 April, open Wed 17 and Fri 19 April, 5-7pm, and by appointment
   (contact Jacquie 0484 663 375;
Warnayaka Art Centre is located in Lajamanu, 580kms south west of Katherine NT in the Tanami desert. The community is very remote with a population of around 900 Warlpiri people. The older generation still remember the first time they met white Australians. The most important thing expressed by the artists across the generations is the need to preserve and pass on the knowledge of Warlpiri culture.

Detail from Budgerigar Dreaming – Ngatijirri Jukurrpa by Myra Patrick Herbert,
from the Warnayaka Collection

Berder. Gaba. Urrknga. Wantja.
Open 11am to 6:30pm from Wednesday to Saturday, to Saturday 1 June
The Nishi Gallery by Molonglo, 17 Kendall Lane, Canberra
Berder. Gaba. Urrknga. Wantja. presents new ceramics from Indigenous artists living in remote areas across Australia. The exhibition represents a north to south journey across the land; from Darnley Island in the most north-eastern part of Torres Strait Islands (Erub Arts), to Cardwell in Queensland (Girringun Aboriginal Art Centre), to Ntaria in Northern Territory (Hermannsburg Potters), to the Musgrave Ranges in the far north-west of South Australia (Ernabella Arts). Together, these four art centres make up the Remote Communities Ceramic Network.
Exhibition supported by the Indigenous Languages and Arts (ILA) program, the Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support program, the Australian National University’s School of Art and Design, and Arts Queensland.

Painting on Country
First Australians Focus Gallery, National Museum of Australia
‘Painting on Country features works by five senior artists from Tjungu Palya art centre in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands of South Australia. The artists have reinvigorated their ancestors’ practice of painting directly onto the land. Their work, captured in a series of large-format photographs, is both timeless and transient, bridging the ancient and the contemporary.

Carriberrie: VR Experience
National Film and Sound Archive, to Saturday 1 June
Put on your virtual reality headset and let David Gulpilil and Jack Charles guide you on a journey of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander song and dance. You’ll encounter the contemporary dancers of Bangarra performing at the Sydney Opera House, The Lonely Boys rocking out in Alice Springs, and performers of songs and dances used to share knowledge and culture for thousands of years. From Uluru to Cairns and the Torres Strait, this is an intimate and immersive experience unlike any other.

If you know of an event or issue that you would like to see covered in this bulletin, please email us at

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