ANTaR ACT – May 2019 bulletin

This month, we celebrate Reconciliation Week and the second ACT Reconciliation Day – we are looking forward to being part of Reconciliation in the Park.
After looking back at the Anzac Day march and forward to the Federal election, this bulletin covers all the activities that will be happening in Canberra around Reconciliation Week.

News: Federal Election Scorecard

In this 2019 Federal Election Scorecard, ANTaR has provided a guide to the policies of the Liberal-National Coalition, the Labor and Greens parties, in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs.

News: Anzac Day March

A number of ANTaR ACT members were part of the march to remember the Frontier Wars on Anzac Day – Jeanette’s account of the march, along with some photos, is covered in this article on our website.

The Canberra Times also included coverage of the Frontier Wars march in an article on the main march (extract below – the full article is here).

There was a protest at the edge of the ceremony by Aboriginal people who thought that the “Frontier Wars” between their ancestors and white settlers should also be acknowledged.
The dissident marchers walked unofficially at the end of the veterans’ march but were then barred from entering the closed off area where the formal ceremony happened.
One of the protesters, Wannganar, said, “We are just making people aware that we did fight in the wars but our people never got humane treatment.
“It really makes me angry. No matter what you do, you’ll still be a nobody.”
Another protester, Lydia George, said, “My father served in the war in Malaya and I’m here because I share the sorrow of what has happened to our people.”

ANTaR ACT – June meeting

The next ANTaR ACT will be on Monday 17 June at King O’Malley’s in Civic, 6 – 7.30pm. All are welcome to come along to contribute to our advocacy and other activities, including plans for NAIDOC Week in July. Any questions or suggestions, please email

Reconciliation Week

Reconciliation Week is 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.

Below are a range of events happening in Canberra in and around Reconciliation Week, including the second Reconciliation in the Park event, on Reconciliation Day, Monday 27 May.

A Treaty Together: how we move forward to heal the nation
Monday 20 May, 12.30–1.30pm, LJ Hume Centre, Room 1171, First Floor
Presented by Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research
This event is free and open to the public. No registrations required.
For more information, see the ANU Events website.
Alwyn Doolan a Gooreng Gooreng Wakka Wakka man has met with over 50 indigenous sovereign First Nation Peoples on his 8500km Message Stick Walk to Canberra. At this seminar Alwyn will share his insights gathered from the grassroots on what First Nation Peoples want from a Treaty, what form the expression of sovereignty could take and how a Treaty negotiating framework could look.

University of Canberra – Reconciliation Week Screening: Gurrumul
Thursday 23 May, 6 pm
Palace Electric Cinemas
For information see UC website; bookings see Eventbrite
A portrait of one of Australia’s most celebrated and important voices. Join with your Canberra community a public screening of ‘Gurrumul’. Screening includes Popcorn, choc top, bottle of water and a drink. 100% of the ticket purchase price goes to the Ngunnawal Elder’s Fund.

Defining Moments: Fire
Thursday 23 May, 6–7pm
National Museum of Australia, Visions Theatre
Bookings essential on NMA website (fees apply)
How can we harness 65,000 years of Aboriginal knowledge and land management to better prepare for and manage the impact of bushfires? What does the changing pattern of human habitation on this continent mean for our engagement with fire? What is the future of humanity’s interaction with fire in a changing environment?
Join ABC RN’s Big Ideas presenter Paul Barclay in conversation with our expert panel as they examine our relationship with fire. The panel features Bruce Pascoe, award winning author of Dark Emu; Helen Cleugh, Director of the CSIRO Climate Science Centre; Professor Tom Griffiths AO, environmental historian; and Jane Smyth OAM, educator and Canberra bushfire survivor.

National Sorry Day Bridge Walk
Friday 24 May, gather at 10.45am, walk starts at 11am
Regatta Point, at base of Commonwealth Avenue Bridge
Hosted by Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Services and sponsored by ACT Health.
School Banner Competition: Design a banner to bring on the day interpreting what ‘Sorry Day’ means to you and your school. A prize will be awarded after the bridge walk for the most creative banner!
For further information contact: Perri on 6284 6222 or Email:

2019 ANU Reconciliation Week Lecture
Friday 24 May, 1.30–2.30pm, a light lunch will be served from 12.45pm
For more information and to register, see the ANU Events website.
Join Professor Tony Dreise, Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research for the 2019 ANU Reconciliation Week Lecture, Who is Australia? Public policy imagination and national identity – past, present and emerging.

Back to Boomanulla Family and Community Event
Saturday 25 May, 10am to 1pm, gates open at 9.30
Come and celebrate the reopening of Boomanulla Oval – free food and drinks, music, walk and talk through the Garden of Achievement, face painting, storytelling, basket weaving, sporting club demonstrations.
Any questions please call the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body Secretariat on 6207 9656.

Sorry Day Memorial Service
Sunday 26 May, 4.30pm
Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, 15 Blackall Street, Barton
Join us around the fire at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture for a memorial service on Sorry Day.

Reconciliation Day Eve Concert
Sunday 26 May, 6.30pm, bookings here.
Continuing the tradition that started last year, on the eve of the Reconciliation Day public holiday, powerhouse rapper Briggs will return to the stage along with Australian icons Yothu Yindi & The Treaty Project for a celebration of Black Excellence. They will be joined on the evening by Alice Skye and Emily Wurramara for what promises to be a night of power and beauty.

Reconciliation in the Park
Monday 27 May, 10.30am to 2.30 pm
Glebe Park
Free event – for more information including the program see the Events ACT website.
Reconciliation in the Park is an opportunity for all Canberrans to engage in meaningful conversations to develop a deeper understanding of our national story and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.
Melbourne duo The Merindas will headline the second annual Reconciliation in the Park event. The Merindas – best known for their appearance in The Sapphires Australian movie and recent festival performances – will bring a fusion of Indigenous electro-tribal pop sounds to the stage. They will appear along with popular Indigenous children’s entertainer Johnny Huckle, Kulture Break, the Wiradjuri Echoes,the Woden Valley Youth Choir and Grace Obst.
In addition to the live entertainment, Canberrans will be able to join in a number of activities including art and craft, kids games and storytelling as well as leaving a message at the Reflection Forest. A number of community stallholders and organisations will be participating – including ANTaR ACT.

Reconciliation Day at the National Gallery
Monday 27 May, 10am to 5pm
Sculpture Garden
For information see the NGA calendar
A day of celebration for the whole family with cultural performances, artist conversations, local history, bush tucker, art making and tours of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art galleries.

Reconciliation Day at the Museum
Monday 27 May, 10am–12pm
Free, Gandel Atrium, National Museum of Australia
For more information, see the NMA website
Join us on Reconciliation Day and celebrate Australia’s Indigenous cultures with performances by the Muggera Dancers.

WCS Morning Tea with Rod Little
Wednesday 29 May, 11am, Woden Youth Centre, 29 Callam Street, Woden.
Free but RSVP required – to Louise Shea at
Join Woden Community Service for a morning tea to celebrate NRW with our guest speaker Rod Little, Co-chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First People.

Presenting Elders film screening
Wednesday 29 May, 1.30–3.30pm
Free, bookings essential, see the NMA website
Visions Theatre, National Museum of Australia
Presenting Elders is a collection of the personal stories of seven Indigenous women living in Canberra. These emerging filmmakers tell of country, of leading the local community as a Ngunnawal Elder and of living on Ngunnawal land. Meet a Mother of the Year and the proud granddaughter of a famous shearer. Discover family generations who inspired a passion for improving community health and education. Experience a wedding at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy and join a road trip that became a journey of healing.

Another Country
Screening by Films for Change Canberra
Wednesday 29 May and Tuesday 4 June, 7.30pm (encore screenings)
Capitol Cinemas Manuka
For more information and bookings see – Films for Change Canberra on Facebook;
May screening on Eventbrite; June screening on Eventbrite
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.

University of Canberra – Reconciliation Week Breakfast with Shelley Cable
Wednesday 29 May, 7.15am-8.45am
Ann Harding Conference Centre, Conference Room, University of Canberra
More information and bookings see UC website
Join the University of Canberra community for our annual reconciliation week breakfast with our special guest Shelley Cable. Shelley is a Nyoongar woman who is passionate about Indigenous business and financial inclusion and is currently undertaking CPA studies. In 2017, Shelley presented to the United Nations on the rights of Indigenous Peoples, and was also elected to attend the Uluru Convention on Constitutional Reform. 100% of the ticket purchase price goes to the Ngunnawal Elder’s Fund.

Ampilatwatja Collection
MANY NATIONS art gallery, in partnership with Winya Indigenous Furniture and Niniji, at Winya’s showroom, Level 1, 15-17 East Row, off London Circuit
To 14 June, open Wednesdays and Fridays, 5-7pm, and by appointment (contact Jacquie 0484 663 375;
Ampilatwatja community is located on the Sand-over Highway in the NT about 4 hours drive north east of Alice Springs. The community made a conscious decision not to paint ‘altyerr’ dreaming stories. The fine dot-painted landscapes and bright colours are the signature of Ampilatwatja art and the predominant themes are of ‘strong bush medicine’, demonstrating a deep connection to country.

West Belconnen Tracks to Reconciliation
Thursday 30 May, 10am
UnitingCare Kippax, Corner Luke St & Hardwick Cres, Holt
For more information, see Reconciliation Week website
West Belconnen Tracks to Reconciliation is an event for children aged between 0-5 years old and their families where together we track between host venues and celebrate the rich culture of our Indigenous people. The event includes storytelling, craft activities, physical fun, sausage sizzle and much more. This event is run in partnership with West Belconnen Child and Family Centre, ACT Libraries, Belconnen Community Services and YMCA Early Learning Centre.

Barbara and the Camp Dogs
30 May – 1 June, Canberra Theatre, bookings here
Part road-story, part family drama, part political cry-from-the-heart, Barbara and the Camp Dogs is a high-octane rock gig featuring the powerhouse duo of Ursula Yovich and Elaine Crombie, and a very sharp band keeping the night alive.
Meet Barbara and her band the Camp Dogs. Barbara’s been trying to make it in Sydney, but this is a tough town for musicians. In all the relentless demands of city life, where’s the sense of belonging she craves? When her mother’s health deteriorates, Barbara and her cousin René hit the road, embarking on a pilgrimage back home to country.

Etched in Bone + Q&A with filmmakers Martin Thomas & Beatrice Bijon
Friday 31 May, 6pm
National Film and Sound Archive
For more information see NFSA website
Made over eight years, documentary Etched in Bone examines the theft of Aboriginal human remains by the American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land in 1948, their removal to the Smithsonian Institution in the US, and their eventual repatriation to the Arnhem Land community of Gunbalanya after a long campaign. Gunbalanya elder Jacob Nayinggul draws on ancient knowledge to create a new form of ceremony that welcomes home the ancestor spirits and puts them to sleep in the land where they were born. The film gives extraordinary insight into the deep and enduring tension between scientific and traditional forms of knowledge.

Cultural Awareness on Country Tour
Friday 31 May, 9am-4pm
Hosted by ACTCOSS, costs apply, limited places
 – for more information, see ACTCOSS website or Eventbrite event
Richie Allan is the Director of the Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation and Ngunnawal Lore Keeper. Richie will provide a Cultural Awareness on Country Tour to give participants some hands-on experience while providing valuable local understanding and appreciation of the Ngunnawal land on which we all live and work on.

Exhibition: Gurrwiliny – the Arafura wetlands weavings
by Bula’bula Arts
at Beaver Galleries, to Sunday 19 May
For more information see the Beaver Galleries website
Bula’bula Arts is located in Ramingining in North East Arnhem Land, with its core objective being to preserve and foster Yolngu culture. Gurrwiliny is the Arafura wetlands surrounding this area, it is shared by many families and language groups. This exhibition focuses on the weavings made by the women artists of the community, showcasing beautiful natural fibres and masterful techniques. Through the creation of these works the Yolngu women can connect with their community, histories and country while teaching future generations.

Carriberrie: VR Experience
National Film and Sound Archive, 11am-2pm daily, to Sunday 21 July
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.
Carriberrie – Meet the Makers
Saturday 1 June, 2pm
NFSA Theatrette
For information and bookings, see NFSA website.
To celebrate National Reconciliation Week, experience Carriberrie on the big screen. Learn from the performers involved how this groundbreaking 360-degree documentary was filmed on country. See dances from the film performed live on stage and participate in a dance lesson with Arakwal Bumberin Bundjalung woman Delta Kay, whose performance features in Carriberrie.

Broginals LIVE
Thursday 6 June, 6pm, Canberra Theatre, bookings here.
BRORIGINALS is a satirical comedy podcast founded in 2018 to answer the question: What does it mean to be a successful Aboriginal in this modern, post colonial, post multicultural, post offensive, post post world. It began with the best selling self help book The Ten Habits of Successful Aboriginals and morphed into a modern day advice show where the two brothers, Travis De Vries and Texas De Vries directly teach Aboriginals and Wuggle (Non-Aboriginal- Non-Magical) listeners who write in answers how to be better Aboriginals and maybe, better humans.

Bangarra: 30th Anniversary Season
18 – 20 July, Canberra Theatre, bookings here.
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.

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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