ANTaR ACT Newsletter – April 2023

We are sending out our April newsletter early, with our monthly meeting a week earlier than usual. All are welcome to join us on Monday 3 April (moved forward due to Easter), where we will talk through issues around the Voice referendum, including an update from the ANTaR National meeting, and the announcement this week of the question and proposed change to the constitution. Meeting via Zoom – please email us on for a link if you would like to join us. 

At our March meeting, we were very pleased to have Yehuwdiy Dillon, Senior Director of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Partnerships at ACT Health, talk about the Ngunnawal Bush Healing Farm and the progress towards delivering residential programs. This is a project members of ANTaR ACT have long followed, and will continue to monitor and support.

We recognise Aunty Agnes’s contribution to establishing this vital community facility. Our thoughts are with her family and community as they farewell her this week.

Events coming up

The ACT Heritage Festival will run over April – the theme for 2023 is ‘Shared Stories’. Below is a list of all the First Nations focused events that are part of the festival. First though, several other events of interest in the month.

Referendum and Voice to Parliament Information Night
Friday March 31, 2023 at 5:30pm – 8:30pm
Canberra Theatre, Civic Square, London Circuit
Join Senator David Pocock, Referendum Council Co-Chair Aunty Pat Anderson AO, and constitutional lawyer and UN Human Rights Council member, Professor Megan Davis for a conversation facilitated by Virginia Haussegger AM.
You’ll learn the history of this movement and where things are up to, and have the opportunity to ask any questions.
Registration essential, more information:

Looking back, moving forward: rivers, groundwater and oceans
During the second event in the 2023 Public Speaker Series, we’ll hear from Associate Professor Bradley Moggridge and Ms Mibu Fischer about their work across rivers, groundwater and oceans. Both researchers will discuss how Indigenous knowledges impact their work and the communities with which they work.
Tuesday 11 April, 5.30 – 7.00pm
The Shine Dome and online
Bookings essential, cost involved for in person attendance:

Together, Yes – Canberra community information session
This event is an opportunity to learn about the Together, Yes campaign – a nationwide conversation process to inform and empower friends, family, workmates and neighbours about the importance of First Nations’ Voice to parliament. Kitchen Table Conversations are a tried and tested approach used by the Victorian Women’s Trust for the past 20 years
Tue 18th Apr 2023, 5:45 – 7:15 pm
Theatre 2 at the Cultural Centre Kambri (ANU Building 153)
Registration and more information:

You Can Go Now
ANU Film Group screening in partnership with ANU Law Reform and Social Justice, followed by an in-person Q&A with the film’s director, Distinguished Professor Larissa Behrendt OA.
Wednesday 19th April, 2023 – 7.30pm
Kambri Cultural Centre, ANU
A look at the life and provocative work and writings for First Nations artist, Richard Bell. Bell’s mischievous energy and button-pushing humour in his work provide a lens through which to consider the last 50 years of First Nations activism in Australia and its links to global protest movements.
Cost involved, more information:

ACT Heritage Festival

Craft ACT Indigenous Artist in Residence Exhibition with Jessika Spencer and Krystal Hurst
Thursday, 23 Mar 2023 to Saturday, 13 May 2023
Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre
An exhibition by First Nations artists Jessika Spencer and Krystal Hurst – the outcome of their participation in the inaugural Craft ACT Indigenous Artist in Residence Program.
More information:

Traditional Aboriginal Weaving Workshop
Thursday, 13 Apr 2023
Australian National Botanic Gardens, Banksia Room
Come and join Ronnie Jordan, a Kalkadoon Pitta Pitta woman, who will share her traditional ecological knowledge with you.
Bookings essential, cost involved:

Ngunnawal Night Tales
Thursday, 13 Apr 2023
Wildbark at Mulligans Flat
Join Ngunnawal Lore Keeper Richie Allan and young Wiradjuri woman Dhani Gilbert for a night under Ngunnawal stars.
Bookings essential, cost involved:

Hanging Rock Guided Walk
Saturday, 15 Apr 2023
Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
Join a Murumbung Ranger as they guide you on a short walk through a wet eucalypt forest to a magnificent granite tor, used by the Ngunnawal people as a shelter.
Bookings essential, no cost after reserve entry fee:

Unveiling of Ngunnawal Story Post
11.30am, Saturday, 15 Apr 2023
Dickson Wetlands, Hawdon and Dutton St, Dickson
Join artist and Ngunnawal Custodian Adrian Brown to unveil the Ngunnawal Story Posts revealing culture and stories that have resurfaced in the landscape.
More information:

Ngunawal and National Capital Stories of Black Mountain
Sunday, 16 Apr 2023
Join Wally Bell, Ngunawal elder, and Mark Butz, history researcher and writer, as they describe the Aboriginal, historic and natural heritage of Black Mountain.
Bookings essential, entry by gold coin:

From Wattle to Woomera
Sunday, 16 Apr 2023
The Link Building, 1 McClymont Way, Strathnairn / Ginnindary
Come and chat to our Caring for Country Rangers whilst they cook up some wattle seed damper for tasting, learn about native plant use from Aaron Chatfield of Dreamtime Connections, and explore the traditional tools and weapons hand-made by Josh Evans of The Yindyamarra Project.
Bookings essential, free event:

Walk and Talk with Aboriginal Rangers
Monday, 17 Apr 2023
Departing from Tidbinbilla Visitor Centre, join us on a the 3km Birrigai Time Trail walk. On our journey we will talk about Ngunnawal significance as well as local bushfoods and medicines. Enjoy storytelling at the rock shelter, an important cultural site, before returning.
Bookings essential, no cost after reserve entry fee:

Aboriginal Tools and Weapons talk
Monday, 17 Apr 2023
Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
Are you interested in learning about spears, tools and boomerangs? Explore the different types of tools, weapons and hunting methods used by the Aboriginal people.
Bookings essential, no cost after reserve entry fee:

Spear Throwing
Tuesday, 18 Apr 2023
Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
Do you want to master the art of throwing a spear? Join our Aboriginal practitioners as they provide a demonstration.
Bookings essential, no cost after reserve entry fee:

Murumbung Cultural Experience
Wednesday, 19 Apr 2023
Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
Join the Murumbung Rangers to learn about Aboriginal tools and some of the Ngunnawal bush food and medicine plants that grow in the area. Sit by the campfire and hear about the cultural significance of the Tidbinbilla area to the Ngunnawal people, whilst enjoying bush tea and damper. Bookings essential, no cost after reserve entry fee:

Bush Animal Weaving Workshops
Wednesday, 19 Apr 2023
Australian National Botanic Gardens, Banksia Room
Come and join Ronnie Jordan, a Kalkadoon Pitta Pitta woman, who will share her traditional ecological knowledge with you. Enjoy a hands-on experience where you and your child can each create a woven bush animal. The workshop inspires a connection to Aboriginal culture.
Bookings essential, cost involved:

Winanggaay Ngunnawal language Workshop
Sunday, 16 Apr 2023 and Wednesday, 19 Apr 2023
ACT Heritage Library. 255 Canberra Ave, Fyshwick
Join members of the Winanggaay Ngunnawal Language Aboriginal Corporation to learn Ngunnawal greetings and children’s songs. Ngunnawal language is an integral part of Ngunnawal culture and heritage. Winanggaay are proud of the revitalisation of the Ngunnawal language and would like to share the language to enable the ACT community to celebrate our language and culture.
Bookings essential, free event:

Indigenous Plant Use Walks
Wednesdays, 12, 19 and 26 Apr 2023
Australian National Botanic Gardens
Look at Australian plants with new eyes as you discover the importance of plants to First Nations people in Australia. This Ranger-guided walk will take you along the Aboriginal Plant Use Trail where you will learn about how Australia’s plants are used for food and medicine, to make tools and weapons, and for ceremonial practice.
Bookings essential, cost involved:

Understanding Aboriginal culture walking through Mulligans Flat
Thursday, 27 Apr 2023
Gain an understanding of local Aboriginal culture with a leisurely walk and talk with Aaron Chatfield at Mulligan’s Flat. Aaron will talk about local native bush foods and the animals in the area. Aaron is a Ngunnawal/ Kamilaroi man who operates Dreamtime Connections which focuses on connecting schools and communities to culture.
Bookings essential, free event:

Sharing Dreaming Stories: Law and Lore
Thursday, 27 Apr 2023
Reconciliation Place, National Triangle
The words for law, policy and lore are the same in many First Australian languages and these are shared as stories.  Join Dharawal man Gregory Andrews at Reconciliation Place to explore this concept using the artworks there.
Bookings essential, free event:

ANTaR ACT 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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