ANTaR ACT – March 2017 update

Welcome to 2017! Apologies that it has taken so long to send a bulletin – a few changes with website and emails (thanks to Darryl for all your help). Hopefully, we’ve finally mastered the new technology and this bulletin should also appear on the ANTaR ACT website and Facebook page, at the same time as you receive it by email.

We have lots of events coming up this year. In 2017, it will be:

  • 50 years since the referendum for first changes to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the constitution – 27 May 1967 (also see this link)
  • 25 years since the High Court of Australia handed down the decision that overturned the legal fiction of terra nullius, after action led by Eddie Mabo – 3 June 1992
  • 25 years since Paul Keating’s Redfern Speech – 10 December 1992
  • 20 years since the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission tabled Bringing Them Home: Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families – 26 May 1997
  • 20 years since the first Sea of Hands, at Parliament House – 12 October 1997

There will be events to commemorate all of the anniversaries in Canberra, organised by ANTaR ACT and others, and we’ll keep you updated with what is happening.

Looking at local Aboriginal heritage in Canberra

Also this year, ANTaR ACT will be working to increase awareness of Aboriginal heritage in Canberra – remembering the past and acknowledging the continuing connection. There are many reminders around us that this land was inhabited for many thousands of years before Europeans arrived.

We have loaded two articles to our website on visits to local sites, one walk to the Birrigai Rock Shelter in Tidbinbilla, another a walk around Wanniassa to see scarred trees then to Theodore to see grinding grooves.

We are looking to arrange more activities to explore and understand this country. If you are interested in joining us, please email us at One option is to get together groups for the very interesting tours offered by Dharwra Aboriginal Cultural Tours:

Also in Canberra

Violet’s Park
‘Meeting Place’ Commemorative Artwork Launch 10.30am, Thursday 4th May, Violet’s Park, Marungal Ave, Ngunnawal

During the filming of Footprints on Our Land, it was discovered that a small park in Ngunnawal had been named in honour of Aunty Agnes Shea’s mother, Violet Bulger. With the generous support of an ACT Heritage grant, TAC is working with sculptor Tony Steel and emerging Aboriginal artist Brett Carpenter to develop a commemorative artwork and interpretive sign celebrating the life of Ngunnawal Elder Violet Bulger (1900-1993).

Meeting Place will be officially launched by Minister for the Environment and Heritage Mick Gentleman. A smoking ceremony, Welcome to Country and reflections on Violet’s life will be conducted by members of her family and followed by dance and drumming performances by local school children. The event will conclude with a free community barbeque.

For Country, For Nation
The National War Memorial currently has an exhibition focusing on the experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, until September, with tours every Tuesday at 11.30:
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have a long standing tradition of fighting for Country, and continue to serve with honour among our military forces. The new exhibition For Country, for Nation presents a diverse range of art, objects, photographs and stories from across Australia to explore.

Facing Two Fronts: the fight for respect & Indigenous Australians at War from the Boer War to the Present
The National Archives of Australia will have two exhibitions with a focus on the experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and war, both starting on Friday 24 March.
Facing Two Fronts: the fight for respect looks at how war became a platform for advocating the civil rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Indigenous Australians at War from the Boer War to the Present is an exhibition from the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, which celebrates the courage, tenacity and resourcefulness of Indigenous Australians in the armed forces, from the Boer War to the present.

15 years of Rabbit-Proof Fence
Stolen generations classic Rabbit-Proof Fence was released 15 years ago. It tells the true story of Molly, Gracie and Daisy – three Aboriginal girls in Western Australia, 1931 who are forcibly abducted from their mothers.

To mark the anniversary, the National Film and Sound Archive has published clips from the film, interviews with director Phillip Noyce and actress Deborah Mailman, behind-the-scenes stills, international film posters, and documents donated to the NFSA by writer/producer Christine Olsen. Available to view at this URL.

ANTaR ACT events

The next ANTaR ACT monthly meeting will be in the first week of April, at King O’Malleys in Civic. This year, some people who were involved last year can’t attend on a Tuesday, so we are looking at whether to change to a Monday night. If you are interesting in being more involved, please let us know ( which night suits you better, and we’ll let you know what the consensus is. It is always great to have more people come along to contribute to discussion and activities. We’d also love to have more help with the new website and social media, so please let us know if you can help with these.

ANTaR ACT committee members will be meeting with Rachel Stephen Smith, Minister for Indigenous Affairs, in early May. The committee is compiling a list of issues to raise with the minister, which will include incarceration rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the ACT, as well as continuing concerns about the high rates of children in out-of-home care, as recently highlighted in the Canberra Times:

Like us on Facebook
You can stay in touch with ANTaR ACT and current issues an events via our Facebook page. ANTaR National also has a Facebook page.

Why you are receiving this:
ANTaR ACT invites people to provide us with their email address if they would like to learn more of our activities, relevant coming events, and matters of interest. Someone, hopefully you, has provided your address.

If you’d like to be removed from this mailing list, simply click on “Unsubscribe” at the bottom of this email.

Please let us know, by return email, of events, news and requests we should publicise in future bulletins.

For enquiries about ANTaR ACT, visit us at or email us at

We wish to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which Canberra is situated, the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people. We wish to acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region. We would also like to acknowledge other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who may visit this area.

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