ANTaR ACT – July 2018 bulletin

Another early bulletin to give you plenty of time to plan for NAIDOC week in July! Also, some exciting news with the announcement that treaty discussions may begin in the ACT.

ACT treaty discussions

The ACT Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Rachel Stephen-Smith has told NITV news that the ACT government is open to discussing a treaty process with Traditional Owners in the Canberra region. Several community leaders and members also talked to NITV news about their views on an ACT treaty, expressing both support but also concerns about ensuring any treaty-making process and outcomes are appropriate. You can access the article here.

Cultural burning in the ACT

Following the South-east Australian Aboriginal Fire Forum in May, ANTaR ACT member Julian Brown caught up with two of the organisers to talk about cultural burning in the ACT. Read the short article here.

Our Booris, Our Way

Earlier this year the Steering Committee for the Our Booris, Our Way review was established by the ACT government. The review is in response to the 2017 Family Matters report, which found that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the ACT were 12 times more likely to be in out-of-home care. The Steering Committee released a communique earlier this month which you can read, along with earlier releases, here.

How to be a good Indigenous ally

The question “how can non-Indigenous people be a useful ally to Aboriginal people?” is answered by Yorta Yorta woman Summer May Finlay in this NITV article.

NAIDOC Week Celebrations – June-July 2018

NAIDOC Week (8-15 July) celebrations are held around the country each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This year, the theme is ‘Because of her, we can!’, celebrating the invaluable contributions that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have made – and continue to make – to our communities, families, history and nation. ACTCOSS has very helpfully compiled a calendar of the NAIDOC Week events being held in June and July in the Canberra and the ACT region. You can access the calendar here.

First Nations Governance Forum

This forum is being held on July 2-4 and considers policy options for First Nations governance reform in Australia through learning from experiences in other colonial settler states. You can watch the live stream here.

ANTaR ACT events

Our next read and discuss event is on Wednesday 11 July, where Paul Collis will join us to talk about his book Dancing Home. Meeting will be in Holt – please email  for details. No need to have read the book to join the discussion.
Dancing Home was the winner of the 2016 David Unaipon Award: Blackie and Rips are fresh out of prison when they set off on a road trip back to Wiradjuri country with their mate Carlos. Blackie is out for revenge against the cop who put him in prison on false grounds. He is also craving to reconnect with his grandmother’s country. Further information about the book can be found here, and about the series here.

ANTaR ACT will have a stall at the NAIDOC in the North event, a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture through art and craft workshops, songs, stories, dance and ceremony. This free event will be held on Saturday 8 July from 11.00am-3.00pm at Kingsford Smith School, 100 Starke Street, Holt ACT. We would love for you to come by and say hello!

The next ANTaR ACT monthly meeting will be on Monday 6 August, at King O’Malleys in the city. All are welcome to join us to discuss ANTaR ACT activities and campaigning. Any queries, please email

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