ANTaR ACT – Dec 2017 update

Welcome to our last newsletter for 2017. This was a year of significant anniversaries, and we reflect on two of these below, as well as covering various items of interest over December and January. We will be back in February.

Sea of Hands and Free to be Kids

Thanks to all those who came to plant a Sea of Hands in November, on the 20th anniversary of the first Sea of Hands, and to launch the Change the Record: Free To Be Kids Action Plan. Here are some photos from the Sea of Hands, from the ANTaR Facebook page.

The message for the Action Plan is that the over-imprisonment and abuse of Aboriginal children is happening all over the country and urgently requires national leadership. You can find out more at:


Paul Keating’s Redfern Speech

The last anniversary of the year was the 25th anniversary of Paul Keating’s Redfern speech, on 10 December 1993, for the launch of International Year of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. Below is an extract, and you can watch the full speech at:

“It begins, I think, with that act of recognition.
Recognition that it was we who did the dispossessing.
We took the traditional lands and smashed the traditional way of life. We brought the diseases. The alcohol.
We committed the murders.
We took the children from their mothers.
We practised discrimination and exclusion.
It was our ignorance and our prejudice.
And our failure to imagine these things being done to us.
With some noble exceptions, we failed to make the most basic human response and enter into their hearts and minds.
We failed to ask – how would I feel if this were done to me?
As a consequence, we failed to see that what we were doing degraded all of us”

Events in Canberra

In addition to the exhibitions mentioned in previous bulletins at the National Museum of Australia and National Gallery of Australia, there is an exhibition at the Tuggeranong Arts Centre, as well as film screenings coming up at the National Film and Sound Archive.

Unfinished Business

A photographic exhibition of stories from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with Disabilities, by award winning artist Belinda Mason.
Currently on display in Gallery 2 at Tuggeranong Arts Centre. Exhibition continues until Saturday 20 January 2018.
More information see:

National Film and Sound Archive Indigenous film screenings

At Arc cinema, NFSA, Acton; Tickets: $10/8

The Last Wave
Richard Chamberlain plays a lawyer defending five Indigenous men accused of a ritual murder. Screening followed by a discussion on Indigenous representation on screen with Dr Jeanine Leane, a Wiradjuri writer, teacher and academic from south-west New South Wales.
Wednesday 13 December, 7pm
More information:

The Tracker
David Gulpilil stars in this scorching colonial-era drama from director Rolf de Heer, who will be present to introduce the film and participate in a Q&A session after the screening.
Friday 15 December, 6pm
More information:

Other suggestions

Still looking for Christmas presents? You could visit the Burrunju Aboriginal Art Gallery at the Cultural Centre on Lady Denman Drive (situated on the shore of Lake Burley Griffin between the Botanic Gardens and the Zoo & Aquarium, phone 6251 4371) – they have a wide range of art works and smaller gifts. Open from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Saturday. You can find them on Facebook at, and they have a website where you can find a list of the artists, their artworks, and other general information relating to the Gallery.

Need something to read during your holidays? Reconciliation Australia has put together a list of some of the most significant and influential books on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and politics:

Coming up in 2018

Check out the Tent Embassy page to see how you can show your solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on 26 January.

ANTaR ACT events

We will begin 2018 with our first meeting on Monday 5 February, at 6pm, in King O’Malleys. Come along to help in planning for 2018, or let us know if any suggestions for activities or issues: In 2017, we visited various sites in the ACT to understand the Aboriginal history of where we live (you can see the articles on our website: What should be our focus for 2018?

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