ANTaR ACT Newsletter – February 2023

Our first bulletin for 2023 and an eventful year already, the start of many important conversations around Voice, Treaty and Truth.

Monday 13 February marked a significant event – the 15th anniversary of the Apology to the Stolen Generations. See The Apology – 15 years on for more about what this means, including links for the video of Kevin Rudd’s apology and the response from Tom Calma, the then Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner.

ANTaR ACT congratulates Professor Tom Calma on being awarded Senior Australian of the Year. Tom has spent his career campaigning for social justice and human rights for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, with his response to the Apology being just one of many significant contributions.

Looking back, moving forward
One of Tom’s current roles is as a fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, and he is a convenor of their Public Speaker Series for 2023: ‘Looking back, moving forward: Indigenous knowledges informing our modern world.’ The first in this series was on Tuesday (you can view the video on the event page), and the next is on 11 April. Find all the details on the Academy website.

With Tom on Tuesday were Michelle Hobbs and Stephanie Beaupark, the recipients of the 2023 Australian Academy of Science Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Scientist Award. Both talked about how they will work with elders and communities in their PhD work, to inform the direction and contribution of their work. You can find out more about their very interesting projects on the award page.

Indigenous Showcase at the Multicultural Festival
The Multicultural Festival is on this coming weekend and features the Indigenous Showcase on Saturday. You can enjoy a wide range of great First Nations performers throughout the day. For details and the program, see the Naidoc Week ACT Facebook page.

Cultural Fishing Rights
Aboriginal communities along the New South Wales coast have been harassed and unfairly persecuted for continuing millennia-old cultural fishing traditions. Oxfam Australia have open letter to the NSW Government asking them to end this discrimination. You can find out more and sign the letter on the Oxfam website.

Seeing the Australian Frontier – The Wentworth Lecture
Professor Greg Lehman (Pro Vice-Chancellor, Aboriginal Leadership, University of Tasmania) will deliver the Wentworth Lecture on the topic: ‘Seeing the Australian Frontier: how colonial art subdued our national history’. This is an online event, hosted by AIATSIS, at 12noon on 17 March. Register via the AIATSIS website.

What are your questions about the Voice?
Discussions and media coverage of the Voice have been increasing with the referendum expected later this year. We will use our March meeting to catch up on the most recent developments and talk through the answers to some of the questions we have been asked, in supporting the offer of the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

You are welcome to join us on Monday 20 March, 6pm, on Zoom. If you would like to join us, or have a question you would like us to include, please email We will compile a note for our website of the questions and answers we cover in the meeting.

The Uluru Statement website includes a number of FAQs already to start the conversation.

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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