ANTaR ACT – July 2017 update

So much happened in NAIDOC week – we hope that you were able to join in some of the many activities that took place in Canberra. Thank you to everyone who came along to our stall at NAIDOC by the Lake, including those who signed up for this newsletter.

This month we profile Tjillari Justice, after Deborah Evans came along to our meeting in June to tell us about their work.

To begin, here is information on some events coming up in Canberra – two shows at the Canberra Theatre, and Clinton Pryor’s Walk for Justice, as well as ANTaR ACT activities. There are also quite a few exhibitions continuing from NAIDOC week, for which there were links in our last bulletin.

Coming up at the Canberra Theatre

Bennelong – Bangarra Dance Theatre – 3-5 August 2017

In 2017, Bangarra presents a new contemporary dance work, choreographed by Artistic Director Stephen Page, inspired by true events.

Woollarawarre Bennelong was a senior man of the Eora, from the Port Jackson area in Sydney. In a tumultuous time of Australia’s history, Bennelong and the Eora Nation transcended “first contact”, leaving us a legacy that is still so tangible in our 21st century.

Bennelong highlights the extraordinary curiosity and diplomacy that led an Aboriginal community to survive a clash of cultures. In a unique Australian dance language, the company embraces history – celebrating the continuation of life and culture with the power, artistry, passion and physicality of the country’s most acclaimed dancers.

Gudirr Gudirr – 30 September 2017

An intimate solo dance and video work performed by Dalisa Pigram, daughter of Broome, Gudirr Gudirr is the breathtaking choreographed piece which poses the question: what does it take to decolonise Aboriginal people’s minds, to unlock doors, and to face cultural change?

By turns hesitant, restless, resilient, and angry, Gudirr Gudirr considers the legacy of Australia’s history for Aboriginal people in northwest Australia today. The production lights a path from a broken past through a fragile present and on to a future still in the making.

Clinton’s Walk for Justice

We are watching the steady progress of Clinton’s Walk for Justice, which will conclude in Canberra in September 2017.

Clinton Pryor is a Wajuk, Balardung, Kija and a Yulparitja man from the west. He is walking from Perth to Canberra in response to the closure of communities in WA. From his website :

The government is going to close community and I need your help to make a stand against the government. As a younger indigenous man and my people it is our duty to look after the planet. Community life, our elders fought so hard to get this community built. That community is very important to us. I do not want to see community close down and see my people lose their home because a government has decide not fund services. It is not right and this why I doing this walk to save my people from losing they home and they country.

You can follow the walk on his Facebook page, and can support him through the website.

ANTaR ACT events

The next ANTaR ACT monthly meeting will be held on Monday 7 August 6pm, at King O’Malleys, in the Snug Room behind the bar. We will be talking about current campaigns and coming events, particularly marking the 20th anniversary of the Sea of Hands, and planning our major event, the David Hunter Memorial Lecture. Please email us at if any enquiries. All are welcome to our monthly meetings.

ANTaR ACT is also planning a tour of local cultural sites around north Canberra, on Saturday 16 September, with Richie Allan of Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation. Please email us at if you are interested in joining us. There will be a cost of $50, with lunch included.

Tjillari Justice

We were very pleased to meet with Deborah Evans from Tjillari Justice at our June meeting. Deborah described how Tjillari Justice started in 2014. She is a member of Galamby Circle Sentencing Court, and they were seeing a number of young people with a lot of anger and rage. In looking at this further, there was a connection with the toxic stress and trauma children experience when they have a parent involved in the justice system.

ANTaR ACT and Deborah Evans from Tjillari Justice
ANTaR ACT and Deborah Evans from Tjillari Justice

Tjillari Justice is self funded and raises revenue by designing, developing and delivering workshops to the Government and private sector and philanthropic grants. Their mission is to break the cycle of intergenerational offending by addressing the developmental, social and emotional needs of children affected by parental incarceration.

Deborah talked about their work in supporting families where a parent is incarcerated. They run an Invisible Victims Program to assist carers and those who work with children to understand the impact of parental incarceration on children’s development and behaviour. They support families with children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, which are often associated with developmental disability. They have programs caring for children dealing with addicted parents and for children who have witnessed family violence. These programs are delivered through a series of workshops – they have trained a number of facilitators.

Deborah gave us copies of their Bill of Rights for Children poster, which can be downloaded on their website .

Tjillari Justice use meeting rooms at SHOUT, which has an uncertain future. They have received some program funding, but no infrastructure funding, so rely on volunteers to operate. Their dream would be to have office space and two staff – which would need about $250,000 per year. Deborah talked about the difficulty of being a small organisation in the ACT, but they were determined to remain independent to deliver the service needed.

Press release from Tjillari Justice regarding the 2017-18 ACT Government Budget

It is pleasing to see that the ACT Government has finally acknowledged that there are other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander controlled organisations in the ACT. The seeding funding grants announced in the Budget will go a long way to helping build strong new and emerging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander controlled organisations which have been ignored previously.

However, it is disappointing that those (blended) families caring for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children who have parents in Correctional Centres and who are not in the Care and Protection and Out of Home Care system are once again being ignored. The ACT is the only jurisdiction in Australia that does not have a dedicated family support organisation for families and children of detainees.

For more information see:

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