ANTaR ACT – June 2018 bulletin

A lot has been happening – sending an early bulletin this month with notice of our next meeting and some other events following on from Reconciliation Week in May, before we look to NAIDOC week in July.

Firstly, congratulations to Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service for 30 years of providing a vital service for the local community and best wishes from ANTaR ACT for Winnunga’s future endeavours.

Reconciliation Day

It was great to see so much happening in Canberra for our first Reconciliation Day. Thank you to everyone who came to the ANTaR ACT stall at Reconciliation in the Park, and welcome to those who signed up for these bulletins on the day.

The links below have more reading around Reconciliation Week.
* From Canberra Times: Don’t treat our first Reconciliation Day as just another day off work
* And: Aboriginal leader urges people to think deeper on Reconciliation Day
* Then: Wetlands tour a chance to close the gap
* From Jon Stanhope in City News: Thanks for the day off, but what are we celebrating?
* From SBS/NITV: New public holiday and concert launch Reconciliation Week in ACT

For those who want to learn more:
* From ACT Parks – new signs along the Molonglo River walking trail (Facebook video)
* From NITV – How to be a good Indigenous ally
* From Reconciliation Australia – Share Our Pride
* And here is an online course by University of Sydney on Cultural Competency – Aboriginal Sydney.

Exhibitions around Canberra

Reconciliation Week might be over, but you can still catch a number of exhibitions that ran through this week.

Until 1 July
Clay Stories – Contemporary Indigenous Ceramics from Remote Australia: A Sabbia Gallery and Remote Communities Ceramic Network Touring Exhibition
Strathnairn Arts Woolshed Gallery (link)

Until 23 Sept
Unfinished business: A photographic exhibition that tells 30 stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with disability.
Canberra Museum and Gallery (link)

Until 22 July
Lustre: Pearling and Australia delves into the gritty human story of pearling, weaving together Aboriginal, Asian and European histories to reveal insights into one of Australia’s oldest industries.
National Museum of Australia, First Australians Focus Gallery (link)

Until 8 June, open Mon – Fri 9am-5pm
Journeys – presented by Belconnen Community Gallery “RESPECT”: A mixed media exhibition of works exploring the artistic journeys of a group of indigenous and non-indigenous women in celebration of Reconciliation Week.
Belconnen Community Gallery, Belconnen Community Centre, Swanson Court, Belconnen (link)

Also at Belconnen Community Centre; on Thursday 7 June
Belconnen Community Service presents a free screening of documentaries celebrating remarkable Aboriginal women as part of its annual Respect event series. (link)

Coming up

This year the NAIDOC theme is: Because of her, we can! NAIDOC Week 2018 runs from Sunday 8 July and through to Sunday 15 July, and will celebrate the invaluable contributions that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have made – and continue to make – to our communities, our families, our rich history and to our nation.

Below are some events already announced – you can also check out the ACT NAIDOC Facebook page and our next bulletin will cover more events. Please let us know ( if you know of an event we should include.

The Canberra and District NAIDOC Awards Ball for 2018 will be held at the Canberra Southern Cross Club, Woden on Saturday 7 July to kick off NAIDOC Week. The awards recognise the exceptional contributions that Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples have made within the community. This event is now sold out.

The ACT NAIDOC Family Day will be held on Sunday 8 July from 11am to 4pm at the University of Canberra. Presented by the Canberra and District NAIDOC Aboriginal Corporation and featuring entertainment, food stalls, Indigenous arts and crafts outlets and free rides, face painting and kids activities.

NAIDOC in the North will be a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture through art & craft workshops, songs, stories, dance and ceremony, featuring free and fun activities for the whole family.
Saturday 14 July, from 11am – 3pm, at Kingsford Smith School, 100 Starke Street, Holt, please enter via Hardwick Crescent. (link)

Also in July, the Tuggeranong Arts Centre hosts Ilbijerri Theatre and Constantina Bush and Bangarra return to the Canberra Theatre.

Constantina Bush visits the Capital
7pm, Tuesday 17 July – Tuggeranong Arts Centre
For one performance only, catch Kamahi Djordon King’s female alter-ego and star of Malthouse Theatre’s Blak Cabaret, Constantina Bush!
Entry is free, but please book a seat.

Which Way Home
Workshops: Tuesday 17 July
Performances: Wednesday 18 July, 11am & 7pm
Tuggeranong Arts Centre
Tash and her Dad are going on a road trip. Home to country, where the sky is higher, and the world goes on forever. ILBIJERRI Theatre Company tells stories about what it means to be Indigenous in Australia today. Infused with humour and heart Which Way Home draws on writer Katie Beckett’s own memories of growing up with her single Aboriginal father.
Alongside Which Way Home, ILBIJERRI will present community workshops across writing, visual arts, and acting facilitated by Rachael Maza, Katie Beckett and Kamahi Djordon King.

Dark Emu, Bangarra Dance Theatre – 26-28 July, Canberra Theatre Centre
Using a compelling mix of contemporary dance and uniquely Australian stories, Bangarra’s Dark Emu challenges long-held myths in the company’s distinctive style. This latest work will nourish your spirit and connect you with Country.
Inspired by Bruce Pascoe’s award-winning book, which describes how our landscape was cultivated by Indigenous Australians long before European settlement, Dark Emu features dance stories directed by Stephen Page. Each one explores the vital life force that flora and fauna has played in its creation and redefines the narrative around the myth of the ‘hunter-gatherer’.

ANTaR ACT events

The next ANTaR ACT monthly meeting will be on Monday 4 June, at 6pm, at King O’Malleys, in the Snug Room. All are welcome to talk about ANTaR ACT activities and campaigning – our focus for this meeting will be on our current advocacy around the Healing Farm, Boomanella Oval, incarceration and the findings of the Steven Freeman coronial inquest, and the high rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in care in the ACT. Any queries, please email

Our next read and discuss event is on Wednesday 11 July, where Paul Collis will join us to talk about his book Dancing Home – venue to be confirmed and please email if interested. There will now be no book discussion in June. Link for more information.

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