ANTaR ACT – January 2019

The importance of confronting our past is highlighted at the start of this year, as every year, on 26 January. Since 26 January 1788, the way of life of Australia’s First Peoples has continually come under threat, and families and communities have been fighting to protect their country, people, culture and history (quoting from the ANTaR National website). SBS have put together this overview of the background of the day.

The Aboriginal Tent Embassy will be holding an event to mark Invasion Day, beginning at 9am at Garema Place – check the event on their Facebook page for details.

ANTaR ACT – plans for 2019

ANTaR ACT will be starting activities for the year with a planning meeting on Monday 4 February in the Snug Room at King O’Malley’s in Civic, 6 – 7.30pm. All are welcome to come along to discuss what we should focus on this year for campaigns and events. Any questions or suggestions, please email

Also, we are looking for someone to help with producing this bulletin as Julian and Simone, who had been assisting, will not be able to continue this year. Please email if you might be able to help, or have questions about this. Thanks to Julian and Simone for their contribution to ANTaR ACT over the past year.

Events in January and February

Bush Mechanics
National Museum of Australia, to Sunday 24 February
Bush Mechanics: The Exhibition explores the importance of the car in the outback and provides insights into the life and culture of the Warlpiri people of Central Australia. The exhibition captures the energetic and upbeat tone of the popular ABC television series created by David Batty and Francis Jupurrurla Kelly. It includes the two cars fondly remembered by fans — the blue Holden EJ Special Station Sedan from the first episode, and the spectacular painted Ford ZF Fairlane from the finale.

AIATSIS New Year Sale – Celebrating Because of Her, We Can!
A major contributing theme to the strength of 2018 was NAIDOC week’s theme BECAUSE OF HER, WE CAN!, bringing light to the invaluable contributions Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women make to communities and culture, both past and present. To further promote this important theme, select titles with female authors and themes have been discounted by 40% for a limited time.

Creative Spirit: Healing the Land; Healing the People
Friday 25 – Tuesday 29 January
Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, 15 Blackall Street, Barton
By Heartwood – a site for transformative arts, culture and science;
bookings essential
First Nation knowledge, grounded in individual autonomy, respect for self, for all others & for the earth, is both lore & law, upheld through a deep relationship between the Creator Spirit, the spirit self, family & ceremony. At this event, knowledge sharing takes place in Yarning Circles through Elders, who respond to a theme and build our awareness of and respect for place, for country and for its custodians, and by doing so, help us find our own autonomous place here.

Story Ground: Afternoon Reading
Saturday February 9, 4pm – 6pm
Smith’s Alternative
Story Ground invites you to a dynamic evening reading of new works by emerging Indigenous Australian writers. The writers will have participated in Dr Paul Collis’ writing workshop, which culminates in this reading.

Earth/Sky – exhibition, talk and films
National Gallery of Australia, to Sunday 7 April
Earth/Sky reveals treasures in the NGA’s collection that speak to earth’s place in the cosmos. The sky is a rich source of inspiration for the art of all cultures. For many Indigenous Australians, this realm is inhabited by ancestors whose actions affect those living on earth below. The Indigenous works in this display also depict creation myths relating to the formation of the stars, moon and sun.

Saturday 9 February: Three events – all free, bookings essential
11am, Australian galleries: Curator’s Talk & Tour with Lara Nicholls, Curator, Australian Paintings & Sculpture
12noon, James O Fairfax Theatre: Documentary films which tell of the Indigenous connection with celestial bodies: Mick and the Moon (G, 1977, 20 mins) and Tnorala (G, 2008, 23 mins)
2pm – 3:15pm, James O Fairfax Theatre: We Don’t Need a Map (AUS, 2017, PG, 85 mins) In this film director Warwick Thornton (Samson and Delilah) explores the history and symbolism of the Southern Cross, and tackles tough questions about the place of the Southern Cross in the Australian psyche.

Language Keepers: Preserving Indigenous Languages
National Library of Australia, Saturday 9 & Sunday 10 February
Cost: $100 for two days; $60 for one day
Wordlists were recorded on Cook’s three Pacific voyages, and are invaluable sources for historians and First Nations peoples today. They show people coming together, trying to make themselves understood, and trying to understand each other. This conference highlights these wordlists, as well as the wide variety of work being undertaken in language preservation in the cultural, academic and community sectors.
Presented in association with the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages.

Public Forum & Panel Discussion ‘A Treaty with the Original People’.
Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, 15 Blackall Street, Barton
1.30 – 4.30, Sunday 10 February (refreshments from 1.30, proceedings will begin at 2pm)
The Forum will be an opportunity to hear from a number of Aboriginal speakers and to participate in a discussion afterwards. All are welcome. The Canberra Quakers, the Quaker associated Committee on Racial Equality (CORE) and the Uniting Church are hosting this event.
Following recent events including the Uluru Statement from the Heart and moves in several States and Territories to initiate Treaty conversations, this Forum will be timely in hearing Aboriginal perspectives. It will be held in the overall context of the continuing dispossession and disadvantage of First Nations Peoples.
For further information or to RSVP (by 8 February) contact Gedda Fortey.

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