ANTaR ACT – July 2019 bulletin

What an amazing NAIDOC week – so many events around Canberra, and a wonderful celebration of the culture and resilience of Australia’s First Peoples.

Thank you to everyone who came by our stalls at the NAIDOC Family Day and NAIDOC in the North – – we were pleased that so many people were keen to talk about the issues that they were passionate about and making a difference to the debate in Australia about how best to address the injustices and disadvantage for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Welcome to those who signed up for our monthly bulletins for the first time, and we hope you can join in the campaigning for change. Below are some photos from the NAIDOC Family Day, where we had both a pillar and puddle of hands.

Left – pillar of hands at the ANTaR ACT stall; Right – puddle of hands on the grass

Thank you also to all those who came along to our discussion on What do we mean by Reconciliation?, with the ACT Reconciliation Council co-chairs, Chris Bourke and Genevieve Jacobs. An article on the discussion will be loaded to the website shortly.

Kerry Reed-Gilbert
On a much sadder note, we pay honour to Kerry Reed-Gilbert, who died on Saturday 13 July, after a long illness. Kerry had made a huge contibution through many different pathways, but particularly supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers though both Us Mob Writers locally and the First Nations Australia Writers Network nationally. She helped ANTaR ACT put together our 2014 David Hunter Memorial Lecture, where the theme was the power of writing for advancing reconciliation and expressing identity, and Us Mob Writers also joined us for a book discussion in 2018. We’ve been very pleased to be able to sell books that Kerry edited on our stalls, including A Pocketful of Leadership in First Nations Australia Communities. We will miss her very much, and extend our sympathies to her family, friends and all those who she supported and inspired.

ANTaR ACT: August meeting

The next regular monthly meeting for ANTaR ACT will be Monday 12 August, in the Castle Room at King O’Malleys, 6 – 7.30pm. All are welcome to come along to contribute to our advocacy and other activities, including plans for our annual David Hunter Memorial Lecture.


Bangarra: 30th Anniversary Season
7.30pm, Thursday 18 – Saturday 20 July (also 1.30pm matinee on 20 July)
Canberra Theatre
Information and bookings on the website.
Bangarra: 30 years of sixty five thousand is Bangarra Dance Theatre’s landmark 30th anniversary season. This diverse program of three contemporary works displays the passionate storytelling, rich artistry and deep community connections that have made Bangarra the premiere Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performing arts company in Australia.

Indigenous Astronomy events
Friday 19 – Saturday 20 July, various times and locations
Information for all the events on the ANU Events website.
ANU and the ACT Government are hosting Canberra Moon Week for the 50th anniversary celebration of Apollo 11’s landing on the moon. Indigenous Australians have been reading the skies for thousands of years with a deep understanding of the Universe. To honour these astronomical traditions part of Canberra Moon Week, there will be public lectures and cultural events to enjoy.

  • Indigenous Stargazing – Friday 19 July, 6.30-8pm
    Indigenous astronomer, Pete Swanton, will chat about Australia’s rich and extensive history of stargazing and how it differs from Western methods that we often use today. You’ll also have the chance to look through our telescopes and see some of these objects.
  • Fire-side chats with Indigenous Elder Wally Bell – Friday 19 and Saturday 20 July, 5.30-6.30pm
    Join Ngunawal Elder Wally Bell beside the fire-pit and listen to him share stories and enlighten people about Indigenous history.
  • The Astronomy and Navigation of Aboriginal Australians by Professor Ray Norris – Saturday 20 July, 6.30-7.30pm
    Aboriginal people in Australia have a rich astronomical tradition such as the “Emu in the Sky” constellation of dark clouds, and stories about the Sun, Moon, and stars, revealing a great depth and complexity of ancient Aboriginal cultures.
  • Dance performances
    On Saturday 20 July, come to Kambri and experience dance interpretations of the Moon. Performances will be held at 1.30, 2.15, 3, 3.45, 4.45 and 6pm.

Winter Tales with Magistrate Louise Taylor
2pm-4pm, Sunday 21 July
National Library of Australia, Conference Room, Level 4
Cost $20, information and bookings at NLA website
Magistrate Louise Taylor reflects on becoming the ACT’s first Aboriginal judicial officer, her life and career.

Another Country
Screening by Films for Change Canberra
Tuesday 23 July, 7.30pm (another encore screening)
Capitol Cinemas Manuka
For more information see – Films for Change Canberra on Facebook; and Eventbrite for bookings
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.

National Sorry Day 21st Anniversary History Exhibition
12pm, Thursday 25 July: Welcome to Country & Smoking Ceremony Launch (RSVP required)
Exhibition continues to Wednesday 31 July
Causeway Community Hall, 14 Spinifex St, Kingston
Enquiries and RSVP: Helen Moran, email or phone 0413 246 470.
The Stolen Generations National Connections Inc. Ass (SGNC) invite you to attend opening of the 21st Anniversary of Sorry Day History Exhibition. This exhibition is a unique opportunity for the community to access historical knowledge, and information about the Bringing Them Home report, the significance and connection of the report to the Aboriginal Deaths In Custody inquiry. This exhibition will present previously unseen documents, reports, images, artefacts, and memorabilia, and will include screenings of historical footage and documentaries. It will also include the opportunity to speak with Members of the Stolen Generations.

My Urrwai
10.30am and 8pm, Friday 23 August
Performed in the Bicentennial Hall, next to The Q
Cost from $25 to $49, early bird discount to 23 July; information and bookings at The Q website
Ghenoa Gela – little sister, daughter, granddaughter, comic, teacher, fighter, gold medallist, air guitarist, charmer, TV star, Torres Strait mainlander, walking political statement – has made a show. This is your invitation into the complex political, social, colonial and cultural expectations she navigates every day. Laughter and deep reflection go hand in hand in this unique and intimate story told through movement and words. My Urrwai, supported by stellar team including director Rachael Maza and dramaturg Kate Champion, is a revealing reflection on and celebration of cultural and familial inheritance, and an unflinching comment on race relations in Australia.
Tour produced by Performing Lines supported by Ilbijerri Theatre.

Blood on the Dance Floor
5pm and 8pm, Saturday 24 August
Tuggeranong Arts Centre
$25-$30, bookings via the website
Blood on the Dance Floor explores the legacies and memories of our bloodlines, our need for community, and what blood means to each of us – questioning how this most precious fluid unites and divides us. A choreographer, dancer and writer from the Narangga and Kaurna nations of South Australia, Jacob Boehme was diagnosed with HIV in 1998. In search of answers, he reached out to his ancestors. Through a powerful blend of theatre, image, text and choreography, Boehme pays homage to their ceremonies whilst dissecting the politics of gay, Blak and poz identities.

Mind the Gap – Bridging the Indigenous Divide
7pm, Tuesday 3 September
The Street Theatre
$27-$37, bookings via the website
Jacinta Nampijinpa Price is an Indigenous Alice Springs town councillor and the daughter of former CLP politician Bess Price. In the wake of a growing ‘Change the Date’ movement, Jacinta dives deep to uncover what is causing further division; what is distracting us from bridging the indigenous divide and what a connected future would look like.

Spinifex Gum
8pm, Tuesday 10 September
The Playhouse, Canberra Theatre centre
Information and bookings on the website
Musical snapshots of life in the Pilbara, north Western Australia, performed by the lush voices of Marliya of Gondwana Choirs, young Indigenous women singing in English and Yindjibarndi. Joining the choir are Felix Riebl and Ollie McGill of The Cat Empire, who wrote and produced the music, and special guest Emma Donovan.

Tour – Indigenous experiences of Parliament House
Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, 2.30 – 3.30pm – current to Saturday 31 August
Parliament House, Marble Foyer, ground floor
Free, bookings required here
Hear the stories of Indigenous parliamentarians and staff, explore the site history of Parliament House, gain insights into how Australia’s First Peoples are participating in the nation’s democratic processes, and enjoy significant artworks from the Parliament House Art Collection by celebrated Indigenous artists.


Country Illuminated
To Friday 19 July
Belconnen Community Gallery, Belconnen Community Centre, Swanson Court, Belconnen
For more information see the NAIDOC website or BCS website.
Leah Brideson is a descendant of the Kamilaroi people from the Gunnedah region. Leah is a self-taught Contemporary Aboriginal Artist based in Canberra, ACT. Her artworks are a ‘Visual Yarn’ – she paints stories from her knowledge of country, her culture and her dreaming. This series explores seasonal change in the sense of the way country is illuminated throughout the seasons, the physical change in the environment and the importance of Leah’s connection to country across a multitude of landscapes.

Barka the Forgotten River – Badger Bates and Justine Muller
To Sunday 21 July; 10am – 4pm Tuesday – Sunday
Belconnen Arts Centre Foyer Gallery, 118 Emu Bank, Belconnen
For more information, see their website.
With works spanning nearly three decades, Barka the Forgotten River is a timeline of the love artists Badger Bates and Justine Muller have for the Barka, or Darling River – “our mother and the blood in our veins” – and its people, the Barkandji.

Carriberrie: VR Experience11am-2pm daily, to Sunday 21 July
National Film and Sound Archive
For more information, see the website,
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.

NAIDOC Prison Artworks Exhibition
To Wednesday 31 July, 9am to 5pm weekdays
Community Services#1 Gallery, 63 Boolimba Cres, Narrabundah
This exhibition features artworks from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander detainees in the Alexander Maconochie Centre.

The Studio: Collections Up Close: Tjanpi figures display
To Sunday 4 August 2019, daily, 9am to 5pm (closed during workshops)
National Museum of Australia
For more information see NMA website
Explore the story of the Seven Sisters in a new installation of life-sized fibre-art figures by the Tjanpi Desert Weavers.

My Voice for My Country
To Sunday 11 August, open 9am – 5pm every day (extended hours on sitting days)
Parliament House
For more information see their website
My Voice for My Country showcases a selection of electoral education, information and promotional materials from the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) collection — produced by the Australian Electoral Commission for a diverse range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audiences. The exhibition is a powerful record of the evolving engagement of Indigenous people in Australia’s democratic system.

Indigenous Design Now
To Sunday 11 August, open 9am – 5pm every day (extended hours on sitting days)
Parliament House, Exhibition area, level 1
For more information see their website
This exhibition showcases the depth and breadth of Indigenous contemporary design in fields including graphic and interior design, fashion, jewellery, sculpture, textiles, architecture and furniture.

Translating Traditions: Maree Clarke & Mitch Mahoney
To 25 August, 10am – 4pm, Wednesday to Sunday
Canberra Glassworks
For more information, see the website.
In this exhibition artists Maree Clarke (Mutti Mutti, Yorta Yorta, Boonwurrung, Wemba Wemba,), and her nephew, Mitch Mahoney (Boonwurrung and Barkindji), expand their practice by exploring the use of glass as a new material. Both Melbourne based, the artists are actively involved in reviving elements of Aboriginal culture that have either laid dormant or sadly been lost post Colonisation.
Clarke’s continuing desire to affirm and reconnect with her cultural heritage has seen her reification of the traditional possum skin cloaks, together with the production of contemporary designs of kangaroo teeth necklaces, and string headbands adorned with kangaroo teeth and echidna quills.

Body Language
To Sunday 3 November
Learning Gallery, National Gallery of Australia
For more information see the NGA website
Body Language is the first exhibition in the new Learning Gallery and explores the identity of Australia’s diverse Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities. Through story, dance, song, kinship, carvings, painting and markings on bodies and objects, it seeks to highlight the rich complexity of Australia’s Indigenous cultural expression.


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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