ANTaR ACT Newsletter – July 2024

Happy NAIDOC Week! There are so many events this week to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and achievements. We included some in the last newsletter, and more below.

ANTaR ACT and Active Democracy Bean have also been working on our ACT Election campaign: Beyond the talk – Indigenous-led solutions NOW! We have six briefing notes available on our website on key issues, and a range of other resources. Find out more below and at: Election 2024 – ANTaR ACT.

ANTaR ACT Organising Group

We will have a stall at NAIDOC in the North on Saturday 13 July, 11am – 2pm, Belco Arts, 118 Emu Bank, Belconnen. We will have information about our ACT Election campaign, and will be selling a range of books and items, including the latest book from Us Mob Writers “Kuracca” and “One Voice Medicine Conversations with First People Healers” by Valerie Albrecht.

The next meeting of the ANTaR ACT organising group will be online at 6pm on Monday 12 August. If you would like to join us and be involved in our ongoing advocacy and actions, please email and we will send you the details.

ACT Election: Beyond the talk – Indigenous-led solutions NOW!

ANTaR ACT and Active Democracy Bean are working together on a campaign for the 2024 ACT Election to highlight what Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people are calling for in the ACT: real actions and real commitments, leading to real change.

We have prepared briefing notes on the key issues we are campaigning on, including:

You can find all the briefing notes and other materials in the new section on our website: Election 2024 – ANTaR ACT.

We encourage all ACT voters to raise these important issues with candidates in the ACT election, so they commit to taking action if elected.

We will continue to add more resources prior to the election – including a scorecard assessing each party’s policies against the key issues for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We are expecting to release the scorecard in September.

Active Democracy Bean is now starting visits to MLAs in Brindabella, Murrumbidgee and Kurrajong. If you would like to participate in these, send your electorate and phone number to This is a powerful opportunity to let our MLAs know that what concerns Aboriginal people in the ACT, concerns us too.

Events coming up

Including those events still to come in NAIDOC Week.

Exhibitions: Bloodlines, Reclamation: Stories of Thrivival, Murrook

Opening: 6pm Friday 12 July – open to 25 August, Belco Arts, 118 Emu Bank, Belconnen
Bloodlines: Jessika Spencer created ‘Bloodlines’ to represent a visual journal entry. It pays homage to the past, present and future. It explores life as a young blak woman, and demonstrates how that is both heavy and light at the same time. Each art piece has an emphasis on decolonization, feminism, matriarchy and at their core, a deep refusal to settle into colonial ways.

Reclamation: Stories of Thrivival is an eclectic, evocative and unique collection of mixed media works by First Nations artist, Wallabindi. The artist draws her inspiration from memories and reflections of her own lived experiences as well as those of her ancestors. This collection of works are statements of reclamation for the artist which, interwoven with the echoes of her ancestors, creates a multifaceted journey which oscillates dreamily between past, present and future.  

Murrook, by Krystal Hurst, is a self-exploration of being in a state of happiness. Bush dyed fabrics, basketry, and adornments, respond to the coastal land and seascapes of Worimi and Biripi Country, entwined into wearable art. This body of work is the artist’s experiences of the ‘happy place’ within self and within Country. 

NAIDOC in the North

Saturday 13 July, 11am – 2pm, Belco Arts, 118 Emu Bank, Belconnen
NAIDOC in the North is a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Culture through story, song, art, dance and ceremony.  This free, family-friendly event is held in Canberra, on the lands of the Ngunnawal People, and welcomes people of all ages and backgrounds to learn from our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community through workshops, performances, activities and entertainment. NAIDOC in the North is now in its 9th year, and is produced by Belco Arts in partnership with Yerrabi Yurwang Child and Family Aboriginal Corporation, Community Services Directorate, ACT Education Directorate and Northside Community Service.
More information: Belco Arts – Events at Belco Arts – NAIDOC in the North

Maralinga Tjarutja – NAIDOC Week Screening + Q&A

Saturday 13 July, 1pm, Arc Cinema, National Film and Sound Archive
The Maralinga people have lived on their lands for over 60,000 years. Institutionalised in the Ooldea Mission in the 1920s, colonial dispossession of the Maralinga people was further intensified when their lands were used for the British Nuclear Test Program between 1953 and 1963. Written and directed by Larissa Behrendt, this award-winning documentary celebrates the tenacity, strength and achievements of the Maralinga people, who fought for the clean-up of radioactive and other contamination, for compensation, and for the handback in 2009 of the Maralinga Village and test sites.
Following the screening, join a Q&A with the film’s director, Euaheleyai/Gamullaroi woman Professor Larissa Behrendt AO, an award-winning filmmaker, author and legal academic.
More information and bookings (costs apply): MARALINGA TJARUTJA + Q&A | National Film and Sound Archive (

Mel Brown in conversation with Dianne Collins

Saturday 13 July, 3pm, National Archives of Australia, Kings Avenue, Parkes
Join Mel Brown, a Ngunnawal woman and Australian author, as she launches her new book through story and conversation. Growing up white, Mel always felt that there was another shade to her soul. Despite an early life marred by moments of sheer despair and the agony of domestic violence, somehow Mel found the strength to survive. Then, as a young mother, she unlocked her ancestry’s secrets without realising the challenges that came with identifying as Aboriginal in Australia. Shades of Me follows Mel’s journey as she redefines who she is and how she sees her place in the world. This event will include a Q&A, book sale and signing opportunity.
More information and reservations (no cost): Mel Brown in conversation with Dianne Collins |

First Nations Experiences of Democracy Tour

Daily, to 14 July, 2pm, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House
On this 45-minute tour you will hear stories of how First Nations Australians have created change. Learn about the Wiradjuri elders who travelled 150kms to attend the opening of Old Parliament House. Hear about the activists who campaigned for a voice in Federal Parliament and the accomplishments of Neville Bonner, the first Aboriginal Australian to be elected to parliament. Visit heritage spaces including the Prime Minister’s Office and the Senate Chamber and learn about the contributions of activists like Wenten Rubuntja, Charlie Perkins and Faith Bandler.
More information (bookings required, some tours booked out): First Nations Experiences Of Democracy – MoAD Guided Tours (

Straight from the Strait – in conversation about the Torres Strait Island musical

Wednesday 17 July, 6-7.30pm, Theatre and online, National Library of Australia
Straight from the Strait is an upcoming Torres Strait Island musical about the breaking of a world record. Join Aunty Ruth Ghee, Uncle Luke Captain, Georgia Corowa and Rhianna Patrick in a panel discussion about the details of this performance and why opera was chosen to tell this story.
Entry is free to this event but bookings are essential to attend in person.
The talk will be available to view live online via the Library’s Facebook and YouTube pages. You do not need to book a ticket to watch the event online.
More information and bookings to attend: Straight from the Strait – in conversation about the Torres Strait Island musical | National Library of Australia (

ANU Reconciliation Lecture 2024

Thursday 18 July, 4 – 5:30pm, Superfloor, Level 6, Marie Reay teaching building at Kambri Precinct, Australian National University, Acton
The 2024 ANU Reconciliation Lecture will be delivered by Ms Selina Walker – a Ngunnawal woman, emerging elder and proud granddaughter of Senior Ngunnawal Elder Aunty Agnes Shea OAM.  Co – Chair, ACT Reconciliation Council and a member – Victims of Crime Justice Committee. Selina was awarded 2024 ACT Local Hero.
The ANU Reconciliation Lecture series began in 2018 to highlight Indigenous researchers and Indigenous research, and is the ANU’s flagship event for National Reconciliation Week.
More information and bookings (free, bookings essential): ANU Reconciliation Lecture 2024 | Humanitix.

Voicing the Living Archive: Working with First Nations Collections in Higher Education

Thursday 18 and Friday 19 July, Building 1, Room 1A21, University of Canberra
Increasingly universities in Australia are engaging and working with First Nations perspectives, knowledge and communities in teaching and research. This symposium will present perspectives on, and experiences of, people working with First Nations arts and artefact collections in universities.
More information and bookings (free, registration required): Voicing the Living Archive: Working with First Nations Collections in Higher Education | Humanitix.

HORIZON – Bangarra Dance Theatre

Thursday 18 – Saturday 20 July, at the Canberra Theatre
Horizon is a double bill opening with Kulka by Bangarra alumni Sani Townson, followed by the primary piece, The Light Inside, choreographed by Bangarra alumnus Deborah Brown and Māori choreographer and Arts Laureate Moss Te Ururangi Patterson.
For more information and bookings: Horizon | Canberra Theatre Centre

Jurrungu Ngan-ga [Straight Talk]

Friday 23 August (7pm) and Saturday 24 August (2pm and 7pm), The Playhouse
Jurrungu Ngan-ga, translated from Yawuru as ‘straight talk’, takes inspiration from the words and experiences of Yawuru leader Patrick Dodson, Kurdish-Iranian writer and former Manus Island detainee Behrouz Boochani, and Iranian-Australian scholar-activist Omid Tofighian. Blending movement, music, soundscape, spoken word and projection, Marrugeku’s unique intercultural work reflects the impact of government-sanctioned brutality. The company’s exceptionally talented dancers evoke dark aspects of the Australian psyche, drawing on cultural and community experience to move deftly between horrific surrealism, truth-telling and stunning physicality.
More information and bookings (costs apply): Jurrungu Ngan-ga [Straight Talk] | Canberra Theatre Centre.

First Nations peace poetics

Tuesday 30 July, 12.30 – 1.30pm, Seminar Room 1.04, Coombs Extension Building, 8 Fellows Road, ANU or by Zoom
Noongar and Yawuru academic and storyteller Elfie Shiosaki will reflect on her new poetry collection Refugia as a practice of peace-making as well as the collective power of First Nations poetics of peace to constellate and navigate new directions in Indigenous futures.
More information (registration only required for Zoom attendance): First Nations peace poetics | School of Regulation and Global Governance (

Exhibitions: All Guns Blazing and Sisters Interwoven

Tuggeranong Arts Centre, to 10 August
All Guns Blazing is a body of work of artist Jamie-Lea Trindall, where she explores the challenges and triumphs of her birth right. A story that embodies the impact of colonisation in southeast Australia, in particular regional NSW. A Wiradjuri woman Jamie-Lea is recognised as one of the leading contemporary artists in Western NSW and a founding member of the Aboriginal Regional Arts Alliance. More information: Jamie-Lea Trindall | All Guns Blazing | 14 JUN – 10 AUG – Tuggeranong Arts Centre

Sisters Interwoven | A Collection of Expressions of Country  This exhibition presents works in a variety of media produced during Megan Daley and Rechelle Turner’s residency at Megalo Print Studios. These works are a vehicle for self-expression enabling their exploration of culture and connection to country. Megan Daley is a Ngunnawal Wiradjuri woman and Rechelle Turner is Wiradjuri and both are dedicated to growing knowledge and engagement with First Nations culture and perspectives. More information: Sisters Interwoven | A Collection of Expressions of Country | 14 Jun – 10 Aug – Tuggeranong Arts Centre.

NAIDOC Week streaming

In addition to all the events above, ABC, NITV and the NFSA have all put together lots of great content to celebrate NAIDOC week.

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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