ANTaR ACT – March 2019 bulletin

Close the Gap Day was last week, with events and reports reminding us how far there is to go, but also offering stories of hope and what can be done to achieve Indigenous health equality.

  • The Co-Chair of the Close the Gap Campaign and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar AO launched the 2019 Close the Gap report “Our Choices, Our Voices”. Commissioner Oscar said “Our Choices, Our Voices focusses on our successes and the cultural determinants of health such as our resilience, identity and self-determination. By recognising and supporting the work on the ground that strengthens our cultural determinants of health, we will close the health gap.”
  • The latest edition of The Health Advocate – the magazine of the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association – included a range of articles about priorities and initiatives for closing the gap.
  • There is also more information on the Close the Gap website.

ANTaR ACT – April meeting

The next ANTaR ACT will be on Monday 15 April at King O’Malley’s in Civic, 6 – 7.30pm (again, on the third Monday of the month rather than the second). All are welcome to come along to contribute to our advocacy and other activities. Any questions or suggestions, please email


The Steering Committee for Our Booris, Our Way met on Monday 4 March and released Communique #12. The Steering Committee invited responses to their second set of recommendations made to the Minister on 19 December 2019, which covered the Priority Areas of: Absence of an Aboriginal Child Care Association; Need for oversight; Lack of culturally appropriate advocacy services; Early Support programs.

The AIATSIS Culture and Policy Symposium was held on Wednesday 6 March. The presentations from this symposium are now available on the AIATSIS website.

The Killing Times: the massacres of Aboriginal people Australia must confront: This Guardian Australia special report brings together information about massacres to begin a process of truth telling of our history, and includes an interactive map detailing massacres across Australia, noting that the work to identify these is ongoing. You can also listen to Myf Warhurst interview the editor of the series, Lorena Allam, and a descendent of one of those who conducted one of the atrocities, historian Liza Dale-Hallet.

Reconciliation Week is coming up on 27 May to 3 June – this year the theme will be: Grounded in Truth – Walk Together with Courage: ‘To foster positive race relations, the relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the broader community must be grounded in a foundation of truth. Whether you’re engaging in challenging conversations or unlearning and relearning what you know, this journey requires all of us to walk together with courage. For more information see the National Reconciliation Week website. This week will also include the second ACT Reconciliation Day public holiday on 27 May – more about events in our next bulletin.

Events coming up

Food Health and Healing Land: Two Fires Festival of Arts and Activism
Friday 5 – Sunday 7 April
A festival celebrating the legacy of poet and activist Judith Wright. Includes welcome to country and fire lighting, workshops on land care and regenerative farming, local and native foods, farm tours, music and song (including the Mission Songs Project, which reveals what daily life was like for Indigenous Australians on Christian missions and state-run settlements), poetry and literature (including a yarning session with the Us Mob Writing Group, which is made up of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander poets, writers and storytellers based in Canberra and the surrounding areas). Cost involved.
Venue: Ryrie Park South and St Bede’s Hall, Wallace St, Braidwood
For more information see the website here.

At the Canberra Theatre (also see previous ANTaR ACT bulletin)
How to Rule the World, a play by Nakkiah Lui3 – 6 April 2019
Mojo JujuFriday 5 April, 6.30pm
Archie RoachSaturday 6 April, 3pm
Djuki MalaFriday 12 April, 2pm and 6.30pm; Saturday 13 April, 6.30pm

Gurrumul – Saturday 13 April, 3pm,
ARC Cinema, National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA)
Documentary on the life of Yolngu musician Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, shown as part of the NFSA Oz Music Documentaries season

Gugan Gulwan Youth Week event
Thursday 18 April, 11am-2pm, Gugan Gulwan, 1 Grattan Court, Wanniassa
With special guest Jack Wilson aka Ninja Warrior
All welcome: more about Gugan Gulwan here.

ACT Heritage Festival: Saturday 13 April to 5 May
The ACT Heritage Festival includes a range of events featuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives on land, culture and heritage. Selected events below, and see the website for more information.

Queanbeyan Region Heritage Festival 2019 Launch
Thursday 11 April, 6pm, Queanbeyan Library, 6 Rutledge St, Queanbeyan (free, no bookings needed)
Karlie Noon, Aboriginal woman and Astronomy and Astrophysics Post Graduate student at the ANU will be the keynote speaker at the Launch the 2019 Queanbeyan Region Heritage Festival.

Across space and time: Ngunawal and National Capital stories of Black Mountain
Sunday 14 April, 9.30am, Caswell Drive eastern car park on mountain side (details on Heritage Festival website), $5 donation
Black Mountain is an important element of the Aboriginal and the national capital landscape from deep time to today. Join Wally Bell, Ngunawal elder, and Mark Butz, historian, as they talk about the Aboriginal, historic and natural heritage of Black Mountain.

Kids’ On Country
Monday 15 April, 10am, Mulligans Flat, corner of Justice Kelly Street and Quinane Avenue, Forde
Join Aboriginal women Dhani Gilbert and Kristi Lee for a cultural adventure through Mulligans Flat.
Cost involved; bookings here.

Bush Tucker Tour
Tuesdays 16 April, 23 April and 30 April, 10am, Jerrabomberra Wetlands Offices, Fyshwick
Come and join us for an exciting morning with Wiradjuri man Adam Shipp, who will show us a range of different plants found around the region and their use as food and medicine by the traditional owners of the land. Go for a forage around the Wetlands and make your own yummy salad to eat.
Cost involved; bookings here.

Aboriginal Bush Painting for Kids
Tuesdays 16 April and 23 April, 1.30pm, Jerrabomberra Wetlands Offices, 2 Dairy Rd, Fyshwick
Come and learn to paint with Githabul woman Kristi Lee. Go for a short walk to collect your paintbrushes and use these to create your very own masterpiece to take home. Age suitability 5-15.
Cost involved; bookings required here.

Moon Stories – “The day the world changed”
Tuesday 30 April, 12noon and 1.30pm, Namadgi Visitor Centre, Naas Road, Tharwa
Free; bookings here for 12noon; and here for 1.30pm.
Students from Namadgi High School, mature dancers from Growing Old Disgracefully, and Ngunnawal elder Tyronne Bell create a performance from their different perspectives of ‘the day the world changed.


**  NEW** Painting on Country
First Australians Focus Gallery, National Museum of Australia
‘Painting on Country features works by five senior artists from Tjungu Palya art centre in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands of South Australia. The artists have reinvigorated their ancestors’ practice of painting directly onto the land. Their work, captured in a series of large-format photographs, is both timeless and transient, bridging the ancient and the contemporary.’

Carriberrie: VR Experience
National Film and Sound Archive, to Saturday 1 June
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.

Earth/Sky – exhibition, talk and films
National Gallery of Australia, to 7 April
Earth/Sky reveals treasures in the NGA’s collection that speak to earth’s place in the cosmos. The sky is a rich source of inspiration for the art of all cultures. For many Indigenous Australians, this realm is inhabited by ancestors whose actions affect those living on earth below. The Indigenous works in this display also depict creation myths relating to the formation of the stars, moon and sun.

If you know of an event or issue that you would like to see covered in this bulletin, please email us at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.